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Between Dictatorship Demoracy: Post-Communist Political Reform

Between Dictatorship Demoracy: Post-Communist Political Reform


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For hundreds of years, dictators have ruled Russia. Do they still? In the late 1980s, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev launched a series of political reforms that eventually allowed for competitive elections, the emergence of an independent press, the formation of political parties, and the sprouting of civil society. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, these proto-democratic institutions endured in an independent Russia.

But did the processes unleashed by Gorbachev and continued under Russian President Boris Yeltsin lead eventually to liberal democracy in Russia? If not, what kind of political regime did take hold in post-Soviet Russia? And how has Vladimir Putin's rise to power influenced the course of democratic consolidation or the lack thereof? Between Dictatorship and Democracy seeks to give a comprehensive answer to these fundamental questions about the nature of Russian politics.
For hundreds of years, dictators have ruled Russia. Do they still? In the late 1980s, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev launched a series of political reforms that eventually allowed for competitive elections, the emergence of an independent press, the formation of political parties, and the sprouting of civil society. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, these proto-democratic institutions endured in an independent Russia.

But did the processes unleashed by Gorbachev and continued under Russian President Boris Yeltsin lead eventually to liberal democracy in Russia? If not, what kind of political regime did take hold in post-Soviet Russia? And how has Vladimir Putin's rise to power influenced the course of democratic consolidation or the lack thereof? Between Dictatorship and Democracy seeks to give a comprehensive answer to these fundamental questions about the nature of Russian politics.

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Michael McFaul, Nikolai Petrov, and Andrei Ryabov

McFaul, Petrov,
and Ryabov

a carnegie endowment book

“A thoroughly comprehensive book on one of the most important questions facing Russia today.
The future of Russia’s democracy may be the last lingering question from the revolutionary process
launched almost two decades ago. To understand why Russia’s political transition has been so long
and protracted, there is no better place to start than Between Dictatorship and Democracy.”
—Yegor Gaidar, Director of the Institute for the Economy in Transition
and former Prime Minister of Russia, 1991–92

—Stephen Sestanovich, Council on Foreign Relations
and former Ambassador at Large for the New Independent States

For the past two decades, Russian leaders have attempted to launch a series of political reforms
purportedly aimed at moving the country toward democracy. Have these reforms taken hold? If
not, what kind of political regime will sustain in post-Soviet Russia? How has Vladimir Putin’s
rise to power influenced the country’s course? The authors seek to give a comprehensive
answer to these fundamental questions about the nature of Russian politics.

about the authors
Michael McFaul is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment and associate professor of

political science at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of several books
including Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin. He is a frequent
commentator on Russian developments for television and radio.
Nikolai Petrov is a scholar-in-residence at the Carnegie Moscow Center. Previously, he led the
Center’s regional project, where he published the Political Almanac of Russia 1997 and the annual
supplements Russian Regions in 1999 and 2000.
Andrei Ryabov is a scholar-in-residence and cochair of the Russian Domestic Politics and Political
Institutions Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center. He is editor-in-chief of the Russian academic
journal The World Economy and International Relations and has coauthored several books, including
Philosophy of Power and Party-Political Elites and Electoral Processes in Russia.


9 780870 032066


Cover design by Beth Schlenoff

ISBN 0-87003-206-2


“There are simply no better scholars of Russian democracy writing today than Michael McFaul,
Nikolai Petrov, and Andrei Ryabov. Did the poet say you can’t understand Russia by reason alone?
Their cool and rigorous analyses will convince you otherwise.”

russian post-communist political reform


Russian and Eurasian Books
from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Russia’s Restless Frontier: The Chechnya Factor in Post-Soviet Russia
Dmitri Trenin, Aleksei V. Malashenko, with Anatol Lieven
Putin’s Russia
Lilia Shevtsova
Ambivalent Neighbors: The EU, NATO and the Price of Membership
Anatol Lieven and Dmitri Trenin, Editors
The End of Eurasia: Russia on the Border between
Geopolitics and Globalization
Dmitri Trenin
Kazakhstan: Unfulfilled Promise
Martha Brill Olcott
Russia after the Fall
Andrew C. Kuchins, Editor
Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin: Political Leadership in Russia’s Transition
Archie Brown and Lilia Shevtsova, Editors
Belarus at the Crossroads
Sherman W. Garnett and Robert Legvold, Editors
Yeltsin’s Russia: Myths and Reality
Lilia Shevtsova

To read excerpts and find more information on these and
other publications visit www.ceip.org/pubs.

and Elina Treyger CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE Washington. .C. D.Between Dictatorship and Democracy Russian Post-Communist Political Reform Michael McFaul. Vladimir Petukhov. Viktor Sheinis. Nikolai Petrov. and Andrei Ryabov with Mikhail Krasnov.

C. the views and recommendations presented in this publication do not necessarily represent the views of the Carnegie Endowment. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 1779 Massachusetts Avenue.947—dc22 2003026788 09 08 07 06 05 04 5 4 3 2 1 1st Printing 2004 . 1963Between dictatorship and democracy : Russian post-communist political reform / Michael McFaul. 20036 202-483-7600. ISBN 0-87003-206-2 (pbk. staff. Rëiìabov. Post-communism—Russia (Federation) I. Viktor Sheinis. Vladimir Petukhov.2. Andreæi. cm. E-mail bibooks@brook. and Elina Treyger.M39 2004 320. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the Carnegie Endowment.C.ceip. Nikolaæi (Nikolaæi Vladimirovich) II. fax 202-483-1840 www. JN6695. Text set in ITC Berkeley. Nikolai Petrov. Printed by Maple-Vail Book Manufacturing Group. contact Carnegie’s distributor: The Brookings Institution Press Department 029. USA 1-800-275-1447 or 1-202-797-6258 Fax 202-797-2960. N. p. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data McFaul. III. Democracy—Russia (Federation) 3. Michael.edu Composition by Oakland Street Publishing.© 2004 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace..) — ISBN 0-87003-207-0 (cloth) 1. D. or trustees. York. Russia (Federation)—Politics and government—1991. its officers. Title. Pennsylvania. Petrov. Washington. All rights reserved. D. 20042-0029.W. To order. Includes bibliographical references and index. and Andrei Ryabov . with Mikhail Krasnov.org The Carnegie Endowment normally does not take institutional positions on public policy issues. Washington.

. . . Nikolai Petrov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Michael McFaul. vii Preface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174 Andrei Ryabov v . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and Andrei Ryabov 2 Elections . . . . . . . . 23 Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov 3 The Constitution. . . . . 56 Viktor Sheinis 4 Legislative–Executive Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Andrei Ryabov 5 Political Parties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Michael McFaul 6 Civil Society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger 7 The Mass Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi Abbreviations and Acronyms . . ix Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xii 1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . 195 Mikhail Krasnov 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 343 About the Authors . . . . . . . . . . . 365 . . . . . . . . . and Andrei Ryabov Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Postscript: The 2003 Parliamentary Elections and the Future of Russian Democracy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292 Michael McFaul. . . 239 Nikolai Petrov 11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Regional Models of Democratic Development . . . . . . . . . Nikolai Petrov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 363 The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268 Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov 12. . . . . . . . . . . . 213 Nikolai Petrov 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Rule of Law . . . . Federalism . . . . . . . . . . . . . .vi | Contents 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 299 Index . . . . . . . . . . . Public Attitudes About Democracy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

More than a decade later. vii . and more effective. in particular. Some democratic practices have taken root. including. its trajectory recently appears to be in an antidemocratic direction. Nikolai Petrov. Gorbachev aspired to make the Soviet regime more accountable to its citizens. a newly independent Russia seemed to be making its way from autocracy to democracy. Yet the path from communist rule to democracy has proven to be longer. Russian President Boris Yeltsin called himself a democrat and pledged to build democratic institutions. Exactly what kind of political system is in place in Russia today? What factors have contributed to democratization and autocratization over the last two decades? And is this regime stable or still changing and in what direction? These are the questions that Michael McFaul. After the Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991. this change is no small achievement. more pluralistic. For a country ruled by autocrats for hundreds of years. Indeed. and less straightforward than most imagined back in 1991. believing that democratic change would make it possible to integrate Russia into the international community of democratic states and end the Cold War once and for all. Leaders in Western democracies cheered him on. the Russian regime may no longer be “in transition. democracy has not consolidated in Russia. rockier.” If it is in motion at all. the idea that national leaders must be elected.Foreword initiation of political liberalization in the Soviet Union under Mikhail TUSSRheGorbachev had profound and unexpected consequences for both the and the world. Instead the Soviet Union collapsed altogether and Gorbachev was deposed as its last leader. He did not achieve his aims. however.

electoral behavior. As the title implies. which in the long run may help to improve the rule of law and the effectiveness of the state. With Russia’s political system still very much in flux. the debate about Russia is all too often artificially simplified into “optimists” and “pessimists” or those who are “pro-Russia” and those who are “anti-Russia. To argue that the Russian regime is the same as it ever was ignores some momentous historical developments that this book describes and explains in detail. Russia has experienced some degree of democratization. and the evolution of political parties in even greater depth. the authors attempt to provide a nuanced and comprehensive evaluation. First. regional democratization. they do not see eye to eye on what it is or on how to explain political change in Russia over the last two decades. and their collaborators seek to answer in Between Dictatorship and Democracy. the authors believe that the regime can neither be called a democracy nor a dictatorship. Jessica T. By analyzing nearly every component of the Russian political system.viii | Foreword Andrei Ryabov. In the United States. these gains have been overshadowed by a series of policies and actions that have resulted in less pluralism today than a decade ago.” Readers seeking definitive judgments to affirm their side of this black and white debate will be disappointed. political liberalization did occur. Mathews President Carnegie Endowment for International Peace . federalism. While some important political and legal reforms have begun under Putin. the political regime has become less democratic over the last several years under President Vladimir Putin. Beginning in the late 1990s. While the authors agree on what Russia’s political system is not. The mix of American and Russian authors in this volume enriches the diversity of views on a still highly important and uncertain pathway of change. The authors do agree on two general conclusions. this book represents only the latest in a continuing series of assessments by scholars of Russia’s domestic politics at the Carnegie Endowment’s Moscow Center. but floats somewhere in between. Future projects will examine issues of civil society development. Second.

We then recruited Viktor Sheinis.. citation. almost all written in English. and sometimes British. McFaul assumed primary responsibility for the introduction and chapters 2 (elections). we have allowed pluralism in method and approach. are shaped by debates and traditions formed in Cambridge. 5 (political parties). and discourse. one of the authors of the Russian Constitution. Ryabov took the lead on chapters 4 (legislative-executive relations). that we did not have the collective expertise to cover all the necessary topics. Washington. ours is a distinctly Moscow-anchored view. Rather than trying to forge every chapter into an American style.C. or Oxford.Preface his book has a Moscow-centric bias. and Andrei Ryabov set out to write this entire book collaboratively. American foreign policy considerations frequently shape analyses coming out of Washington. Even though it is an AmericanRussian collaboration. Nikolai Petrov. the authorship of the chapters is extremely complex. since he was Yeltsin’s adviser ix . Often these perspectives are presented through American. Palo Alto. and 11 (public attitudes about democracy). however. Petrov was the lead author on chapters 9 (federalism) and 10 (regional models of political development). we were lucky to recruit Mikhail Krasnov to write about the rule of law. social scientific jargon or mathematical models. to write chapter 3 on constitutionalism. the original idea behind writing this book was to present a perspective on Russia’s political trajectory over the last decade. With this view comes a different approach to causation. Although Michael McFaul now lives TMoscow-anchored elsewhere. Consequently. D. We soon realized. In a similar vein. Originally Michael McFaul. and 6 (civil society). The perspectives of most books on the subject. 7 (the media).

McFaul. . Petrov. Vladimir Petukhov collaborated in the writing and provided much of the data for chapter 11. In the final drafting. In addition. however. but significantly revised all the chapters.x | Preface on legal affairs for much of the 1990s. and Ryabov did not simply edit. we relaxed authorship claims. Elina Treyger also collaborated with McFaul in writing the chapter on civil society.

the authors are grateful to Sage Publications for allowing them to reprint a revised version of chapter 5. Finally. and contraction. As well. Aleksei Titkov. The authors are also grateful to the two reviewers of this manuscript and the participants at several seminars at the Carnegie Moscow Center for their valuable suggestions for revisions. Mott. The authors wish to thank the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Acknowledgments he authors wish to thank Eric Bahn. Gordon Hahn. Toula Papanicolas provided excellent administrative support in Washington. expansion.1 xi . TVodopyanov Tatyana Krasnopevtseva. Kate Dornbush. the Bradley. the Hoover Institution. and Starr foundations. and the Carnegie Corporation of New York for supporting this unique project. Tatyana Shmygol. Anya and especially Katherine Kelman for their research and editorial assistance in preparing this book.

Abbreviations and Acronyms CPD CPRF CPSU FNPR FSB KGB KKN LDPR NGO NTV ORT OVR RIISNP RSFSR RTR SMD SPS TV-6 VTsIOM xii Congress of People’s Deputies Communist Party of the Russian Federation Communist Party of the Soviet Union Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia Federal Security Service State Security Committee Constitutional Oversight Committee Liberal Democratic Party of Russia nongovernmental organization Independent Television Public Russian Television Fatherland-All Russia Russian Independent Institute of Social and Nationalities Problems Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Russian Television and Radio single-mandate district Union of Right Forces Television-6 All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research .

Moreover. To varying degrees all the 1 . They are controversial because the answers have implications for both theorists and policymakers in Russia as well as in the United States. Our aim is to describe the formal institutions of the democratic regime that appeared in Russia just before the collapse of the Soviet Union and then to explain their evolution (or lack thereof). long semantic debates about the adjectives that should modify either democracy or dictatorship when describing the Russian regime. but something in between. in place of a simplistic label we offer an entire book devoted to describing the contours of the political regime in Russia. Nikolai Petrov. Our method is not to present tedious.1 Instead. Identifying an erosion of democratic practices implies that some form of democracy existed in Russia in the first place. They are difficult to answer because Russia’s political system is neither a full-blown dictatorship nor a consolidated democracy.1 Introduction Michael McFaul. and Andrei Ryabov s Russia a democracy? Will Russia be a democracy in ten years? Was Russia Ianswers ever a democracy? This book seeks to give comprehensive and nuanced to these difficult. but accelerating during the Putin era. beginning in the mid-1990s. we focus on the trajectory of the political system since 1991 and not only on a snapshot of the regime as it appears today. controversial questions. The chapters attempt to explain the factors that have pushed Russia’s democracy in the wrong direction. Our story is about negative trends.

but with uncertain outcomes that cannot be reversed. In other words. Even though the trajectory has continued in an antidemocratic direction for several years. The three principal authors of this book have competing answers. especially lately. We fully agree with those who have added qualifiers to the word democracy when describing Russia’s regime at any time during its post-communist existence and argue that Russia is not and never has been a liberal democracy. and second. of institutionalizing uncertainty. Russia is not a dictatorship.5 Elections are a necessary but insufficient condition for democracy. Yet in contrast to many critics of the current regime. we consider political regimes that meet this minimal definition to be electoral democracies.2 Democratization did occur.2 | Introduction chapters make this assumption. The decisive step toward democracy is the devolution of power from a group of people to a set of rules. in answer to the question of whether Russia ever had a democracy. Electoral democracy did emerge. Terry Karl and others have warned rightly about the “fallacy of electoralism”: an overemphasis on elections with an accompanying neglect of other institu- . Whether these democratic traits are significant enough to label Russia a democracy is debatable. The crucial moment in any passage from authoritarianism to democratic rule is the crossing of the threshold beyond which no one can intervene to reverse the outcomes of the formal political process. but all agree with two observations: first.4 Following Larry Diamond. Russia is moving in an autocratic direction. we define democracy as “the institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle. we respond in the affirmative.”3 We also concur with Adam Przeworski’s refinement of Schumpeter by adding that this process of electing leaders must occur under certain or fixed rules. a basic hypothesis of this book is that Russia underwent a transition from communist rule to some form of democratic rule in the 1990s. Democratization is an act of subjecting all the interests to competition. Defining Democracy and Dictatorship Following Joseph Schumpeter. we also posit that the political system still retains some democratic features.

. parliament. the complete list of liberal democratic features as stated by Diamond is worth restating: 1. in fact as well as in constitutional theory. Implicit in our comparative analysis of the rule of law. Larry Diamond has gone the furthest in articulating the attributes of liberal democracy. in particular. civil society.Michael McFaul. Not only are electoral outcomes uncertain. with a significant opposition vote and the presumption of party alteration in government. constitutionally and in fact. Control of the state and its key decisions and allocations lies. which they have the freedom to form and join.7 Liberal democracy is harder to define than electoral democracy because scholars disagree about the components. independent associations and movements. Because his criteria constitute the implicit standard by which we judge Russia throughout the book. 5. and Andrei Ryabov | 3 tions that make democracies work. and the party system in Russia is a higher model or ideal type of liberal democracy rather than a minimal standard of electoral democracy. including diverse. and other mechanisms of horizontal accountability). by the autonomous power of other government institutions (such as an independent judiciary. the military is subordinate to the authority of elected civilian officials. 4.6 While deploying this minimal definition of democracy we nonetheless have higher standards in mind when evaluating the democratic quotient of Russia’s polity. but no group that adheres to constitutional principles is denied the right to form a party and contest elections (even if electoral thresholds and other rules exclude small parties from winning representations in parliament). Executive power is constrained. religious. and other minority groups (as well as historically disadvantaged majorities) are not prohibited (legally or in practice) from expressing their interests in the political process or from speaking their language or practicing their culture. Cultural. 2. ongoing channels for expression and representation of their interests and values. citizens have multiple. 6. 3. Nikolai Petrov. with elected officials (and not democratically unaccountable actors or foreign powers). Beyond parties and elections. ethnic. There are alternative sources of information (including independent media) to which citizens have politically unfettered access.

also do not have this right. discussion. nondiscriminatory judiciary. Likewise. and cultural groups can express their views openly and organize to promote their interests. and petition. Note that every attribute of liberal democracy in Russia listed here contains some qualifying language. Those Chechen groups labeled as terrorists. publication. If all do not enjoy these rights. assemble. and petition (Diamond’s seventh criterion). demonstrate. and most individuals can express their beliefs. not all do. 10. and undue interference in their personal lives not only by the state but also by organized non-state or anti-state forces. whose decisions are enforced and respected by other centers of power. some parties were not allowed to participate in the 1993 parliamentary elections. one group was denied access to the ballot in the 1999 parliamentary vote. The regime does not exhibit Diamond’s second criterion in that executive . opinion. Thus while most Russians enjoy the rights and freedoms associated with liberal democracy. The rule of law protects citizens from unjustified detention. demonstration. but as discussed in chapter 2. Citizens are politically equal under the law (even though they are invariably unequal in their political resources). The Russian regime does a better job of meeting Diamond’s fourth condition in that most religious. elected officials do still control the highest levels of the Russian state (Diamond’s first condition). ethnic. formerly the KGB) have assumed an increasingly large role in the federal government in recent years. speech. torture. Other components of liberal democracy simply do not exist in Russia. Individual and group liberties are effectively protected by an independent. 8.8 Some of these components of liberal democracy do exist in the Russian polity. which included the group to which the last elected president of Chechnya belonged. and others have been scratched from the ballot in regional contests. exile. terror. Individuals also have substantial freedom of belief. then the regime is not liberal.4 | Introduction 7. most citizens are equal under the law (Diamond’s eighth criterion). Even though nonelected officials from the Federal Security Service (FSB. 9.9 Russia also meets Diamond’s third condition of a liberal democracy in that individuals and political parties that adhere to the constitution are allowed to participate in elections. assembly. but again the one exception is Chechnya.

As chapter 2 discusses in detail. In addition. In the 1990s. If Russia’s regime has not consolidated into a liberal democracy. The regime that emerged in the 1990s was qualitatively different from the communist and tsarist dictatorships. and citizens. Even though all major political actors recognize elections as “the only game in town” and behave accordingly. a deeper attribute of democratic stability—a normative commitment to the democratic process by both the elite and society—is present but not strong in Russia. alternative sources of information are dwindling. Nikolai Petrov. individual and group liberties are only weakly protected. We see the deployment of lesser criteria as analytically circumspect and politically selfdefeating for those in Russia and the West seriously committed to further democratization in Russia. In sum. competitive elections determined Russia’s rulers.Michael McFaul. exiled. analysis usually focuses on how Russia’s regime falls short. as discussed in chapter 11. are becoming less and less uncertain. The Russian polity also fails to meet Diamond’s fifth. and in recent years the regime has become less liberal. By embracing this model of an ideal type of liberal democracy. Some electoral outcomes. especially in Chechnya. however. is it nonetheless an electoral democracy? Was it ever an electoral democracy? Chapter 2 answers this question. Russia’s post-communist regime has never been a liberal democracy. Nonetheless.10 As chapters 4 through 10 show. the institutions and practices that make liberal democracies work are either weak or absent.11 Some might call the use of this standard ethnocentric or American-centric. the Russian regime had the basic features of an electoral democracy in that elections took place under a universally recognized set of rules. the playing field for competitors was never equal and has become increasingly less so over time. primarily because pluralist institutions of interest intermediation are weak and mass-based interest groups are marginal. and no authority intervened after election day to reverse the outcome of the vote. and tenth conditions in that citizens do not have multiple channels for representation of their interests. . are unjustly detained. We disagree. antidemocratic attitudes still linger in elite circles and in society as a whole. their results were not entirely certain beforehand. and Andrei Ryabov | 5 power is only weakly constrained. and tortured. This chapter and others take as the starting point of analysis that Soviet and then post-communist leaders rejected authoritarianism in the late 1980s and early 1990s and took steps toward building an electoral democracy. ninth. a violation of Diamond’s third criterion. such as contests for executive power at the national and regional levels. sixth.

in which the state played a prominent role in determining the results. and a weak opposition.”12 If those in power never lose. then oligarchs. governors. Particularly disturbing was the 1999–2000 national electoral cycle. the second step in our analysis is to describe and explain the weakening of democratic practices in the latter part of the 1990s. the same party can stay in power for decades.13 Moreover. and government officials would have not invested the time and energy that they did in the last electoral cycle. If Russia were a dictatorship. As several chapters in this book will echo. which were weak to begin with. as discussed in chapter 11. democratic erosion is also apparent at the core of electoral democracy.14 Those who claim that Putin’s election was undemocratic must demonstrate that the people were prevented from voting someone more desirable for the majority into office. as chapter 2 explores in detail. Only time will tell if Putin’s first election victory was the beginning of the creation of a one-party state or just an accidental consequence of a popular war against Chechnya. some uncertainty remains about who will replace him in 2008. The demand for some other kind of candidate does not appear to have been robust. and especially during the Putin era. the Russian people at this period in history actually want a tough leader who promises to build a stronger state. Such desires are common after years of revolutionary turmoil. Yet. but have recently become even weaker. In tracing the antidemocratic trajectory of Russia’s political system our analysis stops short of labeling the current regime a dictatorship.6 | Introduction After making this first claim about the collapse of dictatorship and the emergence of electoral democracy in Russia in the 1990s. then Russia will no longer be an electoral democracy. and most certainly was not expressed by a majority of Russian voters in 2000 and 2004. then the playing field will become so lopsided as to make the results of votes obvious beforehand. “Democracy is a system in which parties lose elections. Yet. Yet generalizing about the long-term future of Russian democracy from this one election and the policies that have followed from it would be premature. Vladimir Putin’s victory in 2000 and the process that produced that victory were not positive steps for democratic consolidation in Russia. If this trend continues. Without competition. hopes for the future. This erosion has mostly occurred within those institutions typically associated with liberal democracy. Even in established liberal democracies. As Przeworski has eloquently stated. The absence of greater competition in the 2000 and 2004 campaigns was wor- . elections become meaningless.

many new democracies did not follow this sequence and a number of transitions from authoritarian rule did not produce democratic regimes. Much of the recent literature on democratization implicitly suggests a linear progression of different phases: liberalization. some states managed to meet the minimum criteria of electoral democracy but failed to consolidate the institutions of liberal democracy. In sharing these worries. They might be moving toward consolidation. however. at least not in new democracies. It is true that the most democratic regimes in the world are also the most stable. let alone all the way back to full-blown dictatorship (7. In the wake of authoritarian collapse. The phrase “democratic consolidation” implies that quality and stability are two sides of the same coin. even if the regime type is not liberal democracy.15 The trend. Liberal democracies rarely collapse. In the 1990s. and Andrei Ryabov | 7 risome. 1 rating from Freedom House—the highest score on political institutions and civil liberties on a scale from 1 to 7—the regime rarely backslides to 2. The momentum for regime change can stop long before the outlines of liberal democracy emerge.19 Diamond referred to this condition of many new electoral democracies as the “twilight zone between persistence without legitimization and institutionalization. A political system can be stable . All these concerns. however. followed by democratic consolidation. nor is it certain that every country will eventually reach the promised land.7). many less perfect regime forms have shown remarkable persistence. factors or developments that enhance the quality of democracy also promote its stability. pertain to possible future transgressions of the basic rules of the game in an electoral democracy. They are not.17 A “democracy is significantly more likely to become consolidated if it is liberal.16 Quality of Democracy Versus Stability of the Regime Analysts of democratization frequently conflate two different properties: the quality of democracy and the stability of democracy.”18 Consequently. but speculation that Putin might stay on past 2008 is even more worrisome. but illiberal democracies or partial democracies are not necessarily prone to collapse either. Once a country obtains a 1. the road to democratic nirvana is not clearly delineated. 2. is clearly in the autocratic direction.”20 Even though liberal democracy is the most stable type of regime. followed by democratic transition. we still are not ready to call Russia an autocratic regime. however.Michael McFaul. Nikolai Petrov. However.

”23 If the word formal is emphasized. even if the regime type is not a liberal democracy. Above all. even if it has not made progress in strengthening liberal democratic institutions. Russian leaders have certainly violated these rules on occasion. no major actor. the democratic content of these institutions has eroded. including Putin and his FSB entourage. but violations alone are not evidence of institutional failure. such a threat has not emerged to the political system that has consolidated in Russia since 1993. Budget revenues were centralized and federal districts created without violating the constitution.26 Since 1993. While the formal institutions of electoral democracy seem to be stable. and oriented toward the perpetuation of formal institutional rules. all major actors have demonstrated an interest in preserving the constitution and elections.21 Likewise. then Russia meets this definition of consolidation. At the same time.25 While different actors want to change the specific form of the constitution and the specific rules governing elections.8 | Introduction without being liberal. has an interest in overturning the formal rules of the game of the Russian polity.24 Yet the constitution has survived and elections have remained the only means for coming to power. an electoral democracy can be stable without being a liberal democracy.27 To date. smaller rules of the polity are changing. meta-rules of the political system at the same time that the informal. and a new law on regional government passed that allows . and the retirement of Russia’s first postcommunist leader—have been enormous. The Federal Council was reformed and defanged. A system is under siege only when a major actor or set of actors champions an alternative institutional design. As Duma Deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov explained in discussing the democratic reversals under Putin: The lesson of the last three years is that Russia’s federal foundation can be undermined without trampling too rudely on the Constitution. the regime has shown remarkable stability since 1993. The crises challenging this political system—including two wars in Chechnya. the August 1998 financial crisis. Stephen Hanson has defined consolidation as a condition in which “the enforcers of democratic institutions themselves can be counted on with very high probability to behave in ways compatible with. Russia’s constitution allows for the preservation of the formal.22 Russia is one of those regimes in the twilight zone. The absence of democracy-supporting institutions means that the regime is more fragile than a liberal democracy.

the current system is vastly more democratic.” As described in detail in this book. Compared with Poland’s democracy today.29 Whereas some pockets of civil society have tried to resist authoritarian creep. and Andrei Ryabov | 9 Moscow to dismiss elected regional leaders and dissolve regional legislatures—all without violating the Constitution. Compared with What? When assessing Russian democracy and its prospects. society is not demanding a more liberal democratic order.S.28 Putin’s advisers have a term for this transformation of democratic practices without altering formal democratic rules: “managed democracy. Russia’s political elite can create a hymn to freedom and a stirring tale of “order” lost and found. however. Nikolai Petrov. the vast majority of Russian society has demonstrated little interest or capacity to withstand Putin’s antiliberal reforms.. On the basis of a single document. did not read independent newspapers. peasants did not vote.S. where over 90 . Thus a Constitution containing the most liberal of principles and freedoms was used to establish a regime controlled by an elected president wielding practically unchecked power… The Constitution is like a play that allows plenty of room for the director’s interpretation. are less apparent. Princes were not removed from power by the ballot box like the hundreds of Duma deputies in the December 1999 election. Compared with its own past. the real question is: “compared with what?” Compared with American democracy today. a giant turnover rate compared with the U. Above all. be it Soviet communism or tsarist absolutism. Russian democracy is way behind. the campaign to impose managed democracy has had serious negative consequences for the quality of democracy. Planned reform of relations between the federal center and local governments could well become the next step in the ongoing building of the executive change of command. polity a decade after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The destabilizing consequences of this campaign. and did not travel freely. Russian democracy has a long way to go. Nor did Soviet citizens. In prerevolutionary Russia. Only one-third (157 out of 450) of those who served in the Duma in 1995–1999 returned to serve again in 2000.Michael McFaul. Compared with the U. Russia’s current political system does not seem so far behind.

Russia appears to have made progress in building a democratic political order. remember that two-thirds of an extremely educated population opted to participate in these parliamentary and presidential elections. the consequences of elections in Russia are much greater than in Kazakhstan.34 In American political science in the 1980s. Moreover. “transitology” had . If the elections were meaningless. The degree of freedom of speech in Russia towers above that in Uzbekistan.31 At the same time.e. Russia’s regime today lags far behind the progress made toward consolidating liberal democracies in east Central Europe and the Baltic states. “Political scientists with expertise in other parts of the world tend to look upon these events in Eastern Europe with ‘imperial intent. Is Democratization Even the Right Lens? The phenomenon of change in the former Soviet Union and Russia is big enough and complex enough to attract a whole range of theories and comparisons.10 | Introduction percent of incumbents are re-elected every two years. Philippe Schmitter and Terry Karl pronounced. those interested in models of democratization were the first to join the mission of explaining postcommunist change.. as an opportunity to incorporate (at long last) the study of these countries into the general corpus of comparative analysis. then why did these people bother to show up? Compared with other states that emerged from the Soviet Union.”32 Because Schmitter and Karl and many others believed that change in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union was analogous to the kind of regime change occurring elsewhere. In the late 1980s and early 1990s. however. By the standards of post-communist Europe. Russia is in the middle of the pack but is gradually slowing its pace. intellectual trajectories are also path dependent.’ i. By the standards of the post-Soviet world. these theorists tried to explain these new transitions using narratives and analytical frameworks developed from studies of Latin America and southern Europe. Russian democracy is performing rather well. The observation that Russia is somewhere near the median in its neighborhood and among transitions from communist rule suggests that factors not specific to Russia may be at work in determining regime type in this region.30 The next time you hear in the House of Representatives someone argue that elections in Russia do not matter—that they are just like the charades of Soviet times—ask one of these electoral losers if they agree.33 Like the process of regime change.

the new Russian regime may deliberately and consciously repeat processes of democratization observed in other countries. Nevertheless.Michael McFaul. Russell Bova. the democratization metaphor has several shortcomings when used as a tool to describe and explain Soviet and post-Soviet change in the last two decades. When communist regimes in Eastern Europe began to tumble just a few years later. . theories. The four-volume study of transitions from authoritarian rule in southern Europe and Latin America edited by O’Donnell. “However unique these developments [in Eastern Europe] have been on one level. As such. 1974. Political change has been only one component of the grand transformation in Russia at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first centuries. for instance. Schmitter.36 The rhetoric of Russia’s revolutionaries encouraged the comparison. and analytical road maps useful for describing and explaining transitions in formerly communist countries. nevertheless.40 State institutions in noncommunist authoritarian regimes also supported a market economy based on private property rights. and Andrei Ryabov | 11 eclipsed other traditions. it was only natural that these scholars of democratization and their analytical frameworks would move into the theoretical vacuum of Sovietology. approximate analogues.39 Analogies of democratization from Latin American or southern Europe do not capture the scale of change taking place in post-communist Russia.”38 If Russia’s revolutionaries aspired to consolidate a democratic polity. one of the conditions for successful democratization in Latin America and southern Europe was that economic transformation (usually framed in these countries as the transition from capitalism to socialism) was not allowed to occur simultaneously. argued.37 Russian political reform would therefore follow a path to democracy similar to transitions in Latin America and southern Europe. noncommunist societies were organized according to the logic of a capitalist.35 It received high acclaim and has became one of the most cited works in comparative politics. Because Boris Yeltsin and his anticommunist supporters had declared their commitment to democracy upon assuming power. In parallel. economic transformation and decolonization have also been under way. “Transitology” has offered many heuristic devices. be usefully viewed as a sub-category of a more generic phenomenon of transition from authoritarian rule. and Whitehead was published in 1986. with the fall of Portugal’s dictatorship. On the contrary. many assumed that Russia was part of the so-called third wave of democratization that began (allegedly) on April 25. and models of regime change. Nikolai Petrov. the transition from communism may. adding yet another reason for comparing Russia with other democratic transitions.

the Russian state and the surrounding states of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have undergone monumental political. was destroyed. Revolution is a more apt description of the phenomenon that first began in Russia nearly two decades ago and is still under way. new political institutions are emerging. the old Soviet command economy. and several political parties. have been much more willing to deploy the discourse of revolution to events and processes under way in their country over the last two decades. including elected parliaments and executives. simultaneous. In the vacuum. In short. the experience of the post-communist world is that the transition from autocracy can lead to democracy as well as to new forms of autocracy. these transformations have advanced by confrontational means.44 American political scientists have tended to shy away from this grandiose (and difficult to explain) label for examining the collapse of communism in Europe and Asia. or Asia has full-scale transformation of a command economy been an agenda item. The end point of transition is assumed to be democratization. separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches. as well as precipitated. Moreover. economic. Rapid. In reality.43 The application of theories of revolution to the Russian case. Likewise. While the final end point of this political transformation is still uncertain. but remember that most social revolutions ended in dictatorship.12 | Introduction market system. has only recently begun. in which the party-state controlled virtually all production and distribution.41 It is regime change. already alluded to. and market forces.45 Russian scholars. The democratization lens has another problem.42 They have not resulted from cooperative arrangements. During this period. and social change rivaled only by the French Revolution or the Bolshevik Revolution in scope or consequence. but not necessarily democratic regime change.46 . The old Soviet polity. free prices. consisting of a state subordinated to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In none of the recent transitions to democracy in Latin America. and even some politicians. In some transitions to democracy economic reform has accompanied. Africa. It is being replaced by a system based on private property. a developing Russian capitalism is replacing Soviet communism. thus far a qualitatively new kind of regime has replaced the Soviet dictatorship. a seemingly rich research agenda. transitions to democracy in capitalist economies. southern Europe. at times even violent confrontational means. not democracy. has also collapsed. and conflictual transformation of both the polity and economy is the definition of a revolution.

but dictatorship nonetheless. in the post-communist world the consolidation of liberal democracy has been the exception. Twenty-two of the twenty-seven states in the post-communist world did not exist before communism’s collapse.49 This market system is severely flawed. but the key practices and institutions of the Russian economy today look more like those of other capitalist economies and less like the practices and institutions of the Soviet era. and Portuguese empires. this explosion of new states is more analogous to the wave of decolonization and regime emergence that followed World War II throughout the British.48 The Soviet command economy is also extinct. but only a few succeeded in consolidating democratic systems. and Czechoslovakia—had to collapse before democratic or autocratic regimes could consolidate. because this is the dimension of Russia’s triple transformation that remains most unsettled and least complete.50 Even the Communist Party of the Russian Federation now endorses the basic tenets of capitalism. Rather than an extension of the third wave of democratization. not the rule. Even though thousands of lives have been lost as a result of this empire’s dissolution. The autocratic institutions of the Soviet regime have collapsed. and Andrei Ryabov | 13 Decolonization is another useful framework. Yugoslavia. One possible outcome is the creation of a new kind of autocratic regime. is still uncertain. but what set of institutions will replace this old system has not been fully determined. Most of the new postcolonial states that formed after World War II claimed to be making a transition to democracy. Though sympathetic to these other frameworks. Our book aims to shed light on possible trajectories. Nikolai Petrov. Russian decolonization has been relatively peaceful when compared with the collapse of other empires. the delineation of borders may have been a necessary condition. three multi-ethnic states—the Soviet Union. The final settling point of political transformation. we have written a book about Russian regime change and not a book about Russia’s second revolution or decolonization. different from Soviet dictatorship. Today Russia has a market economy. Belarus may join Russia again.Michael McFaul.47 In the post-communist world. but certainly was not a sufficient condition. and like this earlier wave of state emergence. and Russia’s internal borders in the Caucuses are still hotly contested. The focus is on political change. Similarly. for democratization. but the coercive subjugation of states and people adjacent to Russia’s borders appears unlikely. French. The Soviet empire has collapsed and will never be reconstituted. Such a return to the past does not seem likely when discussing either the Russian economy or Russia’s . however.

Many cases in these other regions were actually instances of redemocratization as countries resurrected democratic constitutions. Because Marxist theory predicted an end to all political and social conflict after the proletarian revolution. Explaining Regime Type and Its Trajectory In this book we deliberately did not superimpose an equation of independent and dependent variables from American political science onto our analysis of Russia’s polity. and civil society. The Russian authors involved in this project resisted this form of American hegemony. The Soviet Union did not. had no such democratic institutions. and even post-communist East Central Europe. Divergent group interests were to be transcended. A Nondemocratic Inheritance The actors and institutions that make democracy work were far less developed in Russia at the time of transition from communist rule than in other transitions to democracy in Latin American. seems appropriate. such as trade unions.51 Russia. Nonetheless. parties. clubs. the space that in noncommunist states is occupied by civil society organizations. especially after 1861. while giving less attention to the future of Russia’s borders or Russian capitalism. however.14 | Introduction relations with its former colonies. social networks. several common factors that influence the formation of Russia’s political system do emerge. and religious groups. Therefore paying greater attention to the future of Russia’s political system. In keeping with ideological dictates. These institutions were either rooted out altogether or absorbed into the sprawling . or civil society to rekindle. public associations. political parties. embodied in the state. even the tsars permitted important nongovernmental organizations to exist. the Soviet state’s most salient characteristic became destruction of the space between the individual and the state. private business associations. southern Europe.52 The lack of democratic social capital was particularly glaring. No political system has ever been more hostile to civil society than the communist totalitarian regime Stalin erected. Although pre-Soviet Russia also accorded the state pride of place and limited the arenas of autonomous society. organization for the sake of any particularistic interest had no place in a communist society. the interests of all became the interests of one.

”57 When both sides realize that they cannot prevail through the use of their own unilateral power. Nikolai Petrov. Similarly.”58 As Daniel Levine formulated.Michael McFaul. In summing up the results of their multivolume study. and Andrei Ryabov | 15 state and the Communist Party. The Process of Transition In addition to an antidemocratic inheritance. but with a cluttered political landscape that had to be cleared before the construction of democracy could begin. In other words. O’Donnell and Schmitter asserted that “political democracy is produced by stalemate and dissensus rather than by prior unity and consensus. we should not be surprised that the shadow of seventy years of communist rule still remains a decade later. and imposed by the winners of the contests rather than negotiated—has impeded the consolidation of liberal democratic institutions and liberal democratic values. Lingering antidemocratic legacies feature prominently in many of the chapters. conflictual. The democratization literature has identified pacted transitions as those most likely to produce liberal democracy. Russia made the transition from communist rule by a process that did not facilitate the emergence of democratic institutions.53 Instead. a causal relationship exists between the kind of transition and the kind of democracy that emerges. “[D]emocracies emerge out of . Pacted transitions occur when the balance of power between the ancien regime and democratic challengers is relatively equal. The mode of transition affects the kind of regime that emerges.55 The nature of Russia’s transition from communist rule— protracted. the more likely is the outcome to be a democratic constitution. The process still has not ended. they agree to seek mutually beneficial solutions. “a prolonged and inconclusive struggle. so that all social exchange was carried out under the guise of the party-state.”56 Philip Roeder has made the same claim in his analysis of post-communist transitions: “The more heterogeneous in objectives and the more evenly balanced in relative leverage are the participants in the bargaining process of constitutional design. Russian democrats could not dust off democratic constitutions of previous eras or breathe new life into old political parties of a democratic orientation. Russia inherited social capital and institutional legacies from the Soviet era (and before) that impeded democratic consolidation. Democratization requires a stalemate. This system atrophied slowly and consistently after Stalin’s death.54 Russia was not even starting with a blank slate. Nonetheless.

if it spaced out over a good deal of time. slow.e. Cooperative bargains produce democratic institutions. focusing instead on dismantling the Soviet Union and initiat- .64 The transition from communist rule first began when Mikhail Gorbachev initiated a series of liberalization measures. it emerges from bargaining. evolutionary processes are considered by transitologists as good for democratic emergence. and deliberate. radical revolutionary processes are considered bad.63 Russia’s regime.”59 Moderate. The failed August 1991 coup created another propitious moment for an attempt at democratic transition.65 Although Gorbachev and other reformers within the old Soviet regime periodically attempted to negotiate with moderates in Russia’s democratic movement. “Democracy cannot be dictated. and to be accomplished without destructive disorders. but eventually these measures gave rise to new and independent political actors with more radical agendas for change. Gorbachev imposed these reforms from above. elections.60 As Przeworski concludes. noncooperative processes do not.”62 Advocates of this theoretical approach assert that “conservative transitions are more durable” than radical transformations. if it is approached incrementally (i. Instead. and if it builds syncretically upon the existing order rather than trying to eradicate it. The holding of new elections and the adoption of a revised constitution might have helped to legitimate a democratic order. Indeed.. incrementally. Led by Yeltsin. Drawing on earlier experiences of democratization. Yeltsin devoted little time to designing new political institutions. sequentially). did not emerge from bargaining over a long period. It emerged abruptly from conflict in a short period. and a new relationship between the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Soviet state. but Yeltsin decided not to take this course.”61 Such processes work best when they are protracted. including greater freedom of speech. an action that Russia’s democratic forces succeeded in defeating. Harry Eckstein asserted that post-communist “democratization should proceed gradually. however. regime hardliners tried to roll back reform by decreeing emergency rule in August 1991. they did not succeed in reaching a transition agreement.16 | Introduction mutual fear among opponents rather than as the deliberate outcome of concerted commitments to make democratic political arrangements work. As the head of a totalitarian regime. Russia’s democratic forces had a unique window of opportunity to design democratic institutions by negotiating a new set of political rules with their communist opponents. and by the use of syncretic devices … Social transformation is only likely to be accomplished.

Most important.67 Concentrated power in the hands of the president did not result from a Russian cultural or historical proclivity for strong leaders. and Andrei Ryabov | 17 ing economic reform. The executive branch not only faced few checks on its power. The Political Economy of Post-Communism Another barrier to democratic development in Russia is the structure of organized interests in the economy that has emerged in response to Russia’s particular transition from communism to capitalism. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. which ended tragically in the fall of 1993 after another military confrontation between groups with conflicting visions of Russia’s political system.69 A different kind of transition might have produced a different balance of power between the man in the Kremlin and everyone else. had negative consequences for Russian democracy. the conflict between Yeltsin and his opponents eventually became a constitutional crisis between the Russian president and the Russian Congress. however. The kinds of economic reforms pursued have influenced the type of political system that has emerged. The directors . Nikolai Petrov. discusses the basic features of this document in chapter 3. That these rules were not negotiated. the people and organizations that had benefited from the Soviet economy did not cease to exist.68 The office of the presidency and then the considerable powers assigned to this presidential office emerged directly from the transition process. but the president also acquired the resources to maintain his or his successor’s position of power. In November of that year he issued a new constitution and announced that a referendum on it would take place in December 1993. Yeltsin once again prevailed in this standoff.Michael McFaul. the 1993 constitution gave the president extraordinary powers. as detailed in chapter 4. Their acquiescence was a positive step for democracy. these groups organized to defend their interests. Opposition to Yeltsin’s policies. Yeltsin and his side dictated the new rules. voters were asked to elect representatives to a new bicameral parliament. In the murky institutional context of the first Russian republic. one of the authors of this constitution. The opposition had only two options: accept the new rules dictated by Yeltsin or return to the barricades. On the contrary.66 Unlike in 1991. but at a much higher price than in 1991: dozens of Russian civilians were killed. At the same time. particularly his economic policies. Viktor Sheinis. grew over time. Yeltsin used his temporary political advantage in the fall of 1993 to institute a new political order.

Because the oligarchs are highly dependent on the state.73 As discussed in chapter 6. If Barrington Moore’s dictum “no bourgeoisie. using their resources to help incumbents when necessary. People have had neither the time nor the money to support participatory democracy. then Russia cannot be a democracy. moved aggressively to defend their property rights at the enterprise level. The Reemergence of the State Another factor that features prominently in many of the chapters is the reemergence of the state as a major player in Russian politics.74 On the contrary. no democracy” still holds.70 Later in the decade a new group of economic actors—the oligarchs—emerged as a result of insider privatizations allowed by the government. Russia’s per capita gross national product has not reached the levels generally thought to be conducive to democratic stability. as the USSR was a military superpower anchoring a bloc of states relatively insulated from the international capi- . they have remained loyal to those in the state. The latent power of the Russian state in political affairs was always apparent. a highly deleterious development for Russian democracy. This coalition proved to be an effective interest group during the first years of the post-Soviet era. making resources for nonessential activities scarce for most of the population. Many considered the Soviet Union to be one of the strongest states in the world. When some of the oligarchs have attempted to play a role in politics autonomous from the state. because the middle class often provides the bulk of funding and participation for nongovernmental organizations in developed democracies. in cooperation with trade unions organized during the Soviet era. this structure of ownership and socioeconomic organization has impeded the emergence of civil society. the state has moved quickly to check their political activities and erode their economic fortunes. They also faced few external constraints in relation to decision making. the Russian economy endured a severe depression for most of the 1990s.72 Nor has the Russian labor movement organized to press for democratization.71 These “red directors’” control over mammoth Soviet era enterprises and the avarice of the oligarchs squeezed the middle class as an economic force. Soviet leaders had the power to distribute resources as they saw fit.18 | Introduction of state enterprises. but it has only recently been deployed in ways that have negative consequences for democratic development. Unconstrained by societal demands.

75 The institutional coherence of the Russian state was also weak and illdefined. and Andrei Ryabov | 19 talist system. and private armies assumed major responsibilities for providing security. after the August 1998 financial meltdown. Many cited this state weakness as an impediment to democratization and liberal practices. dramatically undermining the state’s autonomy as an independent actor. individual regions imposed trade barriers and export quotas. or even informal.76 With no constitutional delineation of rights and responsibilities between central and local authorities. Nikolai Petrov.”77 With no formal. such as a single currency. the Russian Supreme Soviet and the Russian Congress of People’s Deputies began a campaign to reassert their authority as the “highest state organ. Decisions made in Moscow seemed to have little consequence outside the “garden ring. Fractures emerged both between different levels of government and between different branches of the central government.” the inner boulevard of the Russian capital. thereby marginalizing the role of the national currency. in essence challenging the state’s monopoly on the use of force. institutions to structure relations between the president and the Congress. Basic services traditionally provided by the state. two autonomous republics. the state still dominated every aspect of life within the Soviet Union and had the ability to project power internationally. In March 1992. Finally. Accompanying this autonomy was genuine state capacity. Contractual arrangements had be selfenforcing to succeed. State employees had to negotiate and strike just to be paid for work already completed. regional governments seized the moment of Soviet collapse to assume greater political and economic autonomy. Soon after economic reform began in January 1992. welfare. Mafias. the state virtually ceased to function. While inefficient and corrupt. security. dollars. Tatarstan and Chechnya.Michael McFaul. For a time. only just constituted months before.S. and education. The polarization between branches of government occurred because of the deep ideological . security firms. had little capacity to counter these assertions of subnational authority. a common market. In the early years after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Others soon followed. If someone wanted something done within the Soviet Union. declared their independence from the Russian Federation. the new Russian state appeared weak and broken. The stalemate between different branches of the central government precipitated an even greater state crisis. the state was the only means available. were no longer public goods. defying the notion of a national economy. many transactions were conducted using barter or U. The Russian central state.

economic growth has also given the state a new flow of income that officials in power earlier in the decade did not enjoy. Beginning in 1999. The Ministry of Internal Affairs is another unreformed branch of government whose capacity to influence political outcomes has grown with time. and obtaining control of national media outlets. Especially in recent years. As discussed throughout the book. in turn. Equally important. a Thermidorean reaction. the ideological divides that polarized the national government in the early 1990s no longer exist. Most dramatic has been the rise of the FSB. the military’s influence on political decisions has grown significantly in recent years. Like all revolutions in their later stages. Polarization.20 | Introduction divide between opposing camps. The balance of power between the state and civil society is heavily skewed in favor of the former. produced state incapacity. This clarity. in turn. the state has begun to creep back into arenas considered privatized earlier in the decade. old state structures that never reformed or disappeared have regained some of their power from the Soviet era. and even a return of some old practices. This rising state has not been accompanied by a commensurate strengthening of society. the state under Putin has played a direct role in influencing electoral outcomes. The general trajectory since 1993. more order. has facilitated greater coherence in the policy-making process. that is. and most certainly not of political society. Putin’s move to strengthen the state is not surprising.79 The rise of state capacity need not be directly and .78 The Ministry of Defense is one of the least reformed bureaucracies left over from the Soviet days. While Russia’s armed forces have demonstrated a limited capacity to project force in Chechnya. has been toward consolidating the state internally and lessening political divisions among those running it. The 1993 constitution outlined the basic institutional division of power within the national government and between central and regional powers. In many spheres the state remains weak. and ineffective. however. One of its own now runs the Kremlin and nearly a hundred more have crossed into civilian service to assume senior positions in the government. divided. especially because the executive branch of government has such clearly articulated advantages in relation to other branches. organizing civil society. In parallel. creating parties. however. the consolidation of regime change requires greater state power.

not enhanced it. Yeltsin made his contributions too. and popularity. While these attributes have given him the capacity to have a fundamental impact on the evolution of Russia’s political system. the role of particular individuals is minimal.81 Yeltsin’s leadership style. In stable settings the preferences and power of social groups are also relatively fixed. individuals can play an instrumental role in crafting the political institutions of a regime in transition.Michael McFaul. however. albeit only in certain spheres. youth. and the rise of the state.83 On the contrary. his norms. . As several chapters highlight. The impact of a single leader on regime trajectory has become even more apparent during the Putin era. the causal role assigned to unique individuals is greater. many chapters add another important factor: individuals and the policies they pursued.80 Individual Actions. Democracies need capacious states to defend individual liberties. is not the kind of state capacity needed for democratic development. has eroded democratic development. as did his close allies and his ardent enemies. the reconstitution of a coherent and powerful state. they did not determine his course of action. In stable institutional settings in which individuals select from the same menu of choices over multiple iterations. and Andrei Ryabov | 21 negatively correlated with democracy. People make them. thereby constraining the leaders who represent these groups. People can also undo them. On the contrary. another individual in the Kremlin with these same attributes might have pushed Russia in a more democratic direction. energy. Nikolai Petrov. The state’s re-penetration into realms society has only recently reclaimed. and Choices About Institutions After recognizing the negative consequences for democratic development of the Soviet inheritance. and his policy preferences had huge consequences for the trajectory of Russian democracy in the 1990s. Putin’s role and policies cannot be underemphasized. Democracies do not just emerge organically as a result of modernization. In uncertain institutional settings. Yeltsin also made positive contributions to democratic development that might not have occurred with another leader. the nature of Russia’s transition. Policies. In addition to structural factors.82 Not all democratic failures and shortcomings in post-communist Russia can be blamed on the long shadows of Ivan Grozny or Joseph Stalin. however. because Putin has good health.

84 Whether Putin wants to move toward creating such a regime still remains in question. the trajectory of democracy in Russia today is in a negative direction. As will become clear.22 | Introduction That Putin’s rise to power has had such a major impact on the regime suggests that the current political system is not consolidated. yet this regime has not consolidated into a full-blown dictatorship. . Whether he could is also not certain. This condition gives some cause for hope.

and 2000–2001). and two rounds of gubernatorial elections (1996–1997 and 2000–2001). but they are an essential component of the democratic process.1 The advent of competitive elections in the Soviet Union and then Russia certainly contributed to the reclassification of the country as a democracy.2 Elections Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov ompetitive elections are the cornerstone of any democracy.”3 Since the first semicompetitive election in the Soviet Union in the spring of 1989. 1996–1997. but all descriptions on the democratic side of the ledger. three presidential elections (1991. Russians have voted a lot. 1993–1994. Russia met Joseph Schumpeter’s minimalist definition of democracy as a political regime in which the major positions of power are filled “through a competitive struggle for the people’s vote. 1995. 1996. and 1999). Elections C alone do not make a country a democracy. the 1995–1997 electoral cycle. still recognize competitive elections as the critical variable that distinguishes autocracies from democracies. 1993. analysts have invented many adjectives to qualify the word democracy. four referenda (two in 1991 and two in 1993). 1990. They have cast votes in five national parliamentary elections (1989.2 In the early 1990s. 23 . the 1993–1994 founding elections. and 2000). including electoral democracies and illiberal democracies. These elections can be grouped into four large electoral cycles: the Gorbachev era (1989–1991). In seeking to describe regime types. and the 1999–2001 electoral cycle. four rounds of elections for regional legislatures (1990.

the goal of these elections was to purge the conservative ranks of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) from their positions of power within state structures as a way to liberate these state institutions and thereby make them available as instruments for executing Gorbachev’s eco- . and the amount spent in these electoral competitions suggest that their outcomes have consequences well understood by all. First. since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia now has an estimated 3. won the third election.” Boris Yeltsin won the first two presidential elections and his handpicked successor. the outcomes of these elections at the national level have been uncertain. the Soviet leadership.000 elections every four years to a total of about 20. In particular. It cuts against the grain of electoral patterns in the most democratic parts of the postcommunist world. are directly involved in the electoral process. but did not “throw the bastards out. the high voter turnouts. Furthermore. or about 2 percent of adult population. Since 1993.5 An important factor is that the laws governing elections have not changed radically before each election. In the parliamentary elections. The Russian people endured an even greater economic depression.24 | Elections Every election since the Soviet collapse has included more than one candidate. with the exception of the 2000 presidential vote. voters selected from dozens of choices both from the party list and from individual single-mandate candidates as provided by Russia’s mixed electoral system. if not alarming.” Why not? In this chapter we argue that three factors have contributed to this rather strange outcome. did not introduce semicompetitive elections into the political practices of the USSR and then Russia as a means of democratizing the polity. In addition. Because the presidency is the most powerful office in the Russian political system. Yet paradoxes and anomalies are apparent in the election process that over time call into question the democratic function of these events in the political system. In east Central Europe. where the winners of the first round of competitive elections were often replaced by former communists in the second round of competitive elections. and Mikhail Gorbachev in particular. economic depression caused by the costs of transition triggered this swing of the pendulum. Rather.000 elective offices. this continuity over time—despite extreme discontinuity in economic and social affairs—is curious. presidential elections in post-communist Russia have never produced a change in “party. Vladimir Putin. elections have also taken place on time and under the rule of law. The sheer number of candidates. He will win again in 2004.4 Roughly 2 million people.

have spent private resources to influence electoral outcomes. the Kremlin managed to invent a party— Unity—from scratch. environmental groups. such as trade unions. In successful transitions to democracy. these same Soviet era elites who were initially threatened by elections learned how to regain control of them. In Russia. Some even call into . the trend has been in the opposite direction. and even some mass associations. Second. however. Outgoing dictators wield their control of the state apparatus to falsify results and terrorize voters. Business people. Because they are new events. Third. first elections are deliberately not fully democratic. These same resources helped to propel Putin to elected power in the Kremlin after he had already acquired control of the state through a nonelectoral process. at least in those elections that have the most meaning: presidential elections and elections for executives at the regional level. these constraints on and irregularities in the democratic process fade. the imbalance between state and society has become more pronounced. Often. Over time. the lopsided outcomes in favor of incumbents have not resulted just from the deployment of state resources (known as “administrative resources” in Russia) during the campaign. and consumer protection organizations. With time. the completion of several electoral rounds tends to make the electoral process more democratic. As is often the case in new democracies. Over time.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 25 nomic reforms. the electoral process then produced unexpected outcomes and unlikely winners such as Yeltsin. Consequently. but instead serve as an interim step between dictatorship and democracy. Those already in power have increasingly benefited from the fact that those loyal to them in the state count the votes. The combination of these three factors means that elections have become less free and fair today than they were a decade ago. however. in part because parliaments have less power than in the Russian political system. but their resources have never matched those of the state. not less. The state’s power was demonstrated most dramatically in the 1999 parliamentary elections. founding elections in democratic transitions are often marred by irregularities. Practice makes perfect. which won nearly a quarter of the vote. old elites have been able to reduce the uncertainties associated with competitive elections over time because they have regained control of the state and its resources and learned to use the state’s resources to achieve the electoral outcomes they want. Russian elections have become less competitive and less free over time. however. when by maintaining control of the two largest television networks. Parliamentary elections at all levels have been more competitive and less corrupt.

The fourth section contrasts the 1999–2001 election cycle with the previous two cycles. or even to checkmate. The Gorbachev Era: Elections as a Political Weapon In most successful transitions from authoritarian rule to democracy. this chapter proceeds as follows. In other words. showing how Russia’s elections have become less free and fair over time. The third section explores the democratic nature of elections in the 1995–1997 electoral cycle. during the transition.”9 Generally the boundaries of a state must also be agreed upon before elites can make a successful bargain for creating a democratic polity. then how can elections be organized? . The next section discusses the function of elections in the Gorbachev era. As O’Donnell and Schmitter famously remarked. 7 A pact “lessens the fears of moderates that they will be overwhelmed by a triumphant.”8 Limitations on economic transformation. majority which will implement drastic changes. To demonstrate the changing function of elections in the Soviet Union and Russia over the last decade. “[A]ll previously known transitions to political democracy have observed one fundamental restriction: it is forbidden to take. The second section discusses the intended purpose of elections in 1993. for instance.6 We are close to tossing Russia back into the authoritarian category ourselves. To get to a founding election. the property rights of the bourgeoisie are inviolable. though with unintended consequences.10 If who is a citizen of the state and who is not is unclear. which in many ways were Russia’s founding elections. reformoriented elites (called soft-liners in the literature on democratization) from the old regime and moderates from civil society often negotiate pacts that limit the issues allowed to be contested after the first vote. the king of one of the players. radical. are often a critical component of successful pacts that in turn produce the first election after authoritarian rule or a founding election. The final section concludes.26 | Elections question whether Russia can be considered an electoral democracy. the first or founding election marks the completion of the transition phase and the beginning of regime consolidation. which may have been the most competitive and consequential in Russia’s brief democratic history. showing that the Soviet Union’s last leader used elections as a means for ends besides democracy.

Neither side made the electoral process an actual goal of the political struggle. General Secretary of the CPSU Gorbachev initiated these semicompetitive elections. and before the formation of political parties. Nonetheless. the convocation of elections did not demarcate the end of the transition period. his decision in the summer of 1988 to introduce . Before this founding election. before the blossoming of civil society. elections served to polarize politics rather than to bring closure to the struggle between opposing actors involved in redefining the new rules of the game for the Soviet and Russian regimes. These elections also took place while Soviet and Russian elites were debating the fundamental organization of the economy. the level of mobilization within society not directly controlled by the state was modest. Moreover. In this context. Most important. At the time. The first semicompetitive elections in Soviet history occurred in the spring of 1989. political liberalization and the rebirth of civil society preceded the first elections. The decision to convoke these elections did not occur as the result of a bargain between soft-liners in the Soviet state and moderates representing societal opposition. Indeed. The function of competitive elections and the timing of their introduction in the Soviet Union and then Russia did not follow this transitions script.12 Every vote was also a tactical tool that both sides in these polarized debates deployed to advance their immediate political aims.”11 A founding election marks the end of the transition period and the beginning of the new democratic regime. Soviet voters were given the opportunity to select a portion of the representatives to the USSR Congress of People’s Deputies (CPD). in many of the so-called third wave transitions to democracy. These first Soviet era competitive elections took place midstream in the process of regime change. elites competing in these elections did not even share a common definition of the state’s borders. “mobilization following initial liberalization is likely to bring political parties to the forefront of the transition and make the convocation of elections an increasingly attractive means for conflict resolution. at that time the Soviet state’s parliament. Every vote was a referendum on the Soviet ancien regime. the basic rules of the game for governing the country have been agreed upon by those involved in negotiating the regime change. at which time the basic institutional framework of the new polity had not been established. Gorbachev did want to liberalize the Soviet political system as an end in and of itself.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 27 Finally.

Gorbachev did not permit these first elections to be free and fair. divided equally between districts determined by territorial divisions and districts carved according to population. Gorbachev and his liberal advisers had come to see many of the top leaders of the CPSU as the enemies of reform. For decades.15 Nonetheless. Initially. One-third of the 2. Beginning in 1987.13 He predicted that a newly elected USSR CPD would be more sympathetic to his reform agenda than the CPSU.” which included everything from the CPSU to the Soviet Academy of Sciences. however. candidates had to be endorsed by either a workers’ collective or a public meeting of at least 500 people. Gorbachev had begun to pursue serious economic reform under the banner of perestroika. By the summer of 1988. Unable to garner support for his reform ideas within the upper echelons of the CPSU. In practice. To be nominated. a process that might also give greater legitimacy to these bodies. district electoral committees had the power to disqualify any candidates—a power exercised against almost half of all candidates. He therefore switched course. however. because only the Party’s top 100 officials were elected through the social organization list. Gorbachev wanted to reinvigorate the soviets (councils) through the electoral process. and eventually. To maintain control of the process.28 | Elections semicompetitive elections to the USSR CPD was instrumental. The elections brought new people into the political . in Gorbachev’s estimation party leaders were impeding perestroika.14 The remaining seats. Following their nomination. General Secretary Gorbachev would also become Speaker Gorbachev and then President Gorbachev. Rather than spearheading his initiatives. Gorbachev hoped to take away governing power from the Communist Party and instead give it to the soviets. in principle were all contested. these legislative organs simply rubber-stamped and helped to implement decisions taken by the CPSU. he believed that the Communist Party might be the vanguard organization that would implement these reforms. these state positions would become more important than his party post. these elections constituted a direct threat to the CPSU elite. the cumbersome electoral procedures made the nomination of “democratic” challengers virtually impossible. He also planned to transfer his political base from the Communist Party to this legislative body.225 seats in the Congress were allocated to “social organizations. if all went according to plan. By using elections he aimed to free the Soviet Union’s formal state institutions of conservative Communist Party bosses. and then more earnestly in 1988.

Consequently. six nevertheless lost because they failed to receive the required 50 percent threshold of support. Once the new Congress convened. At this stage. city. He could not liberate the state from the party at the national level of government and not do the same at lower levels of government. 17 The failure of the CPSU’s nomenklatura was most impressive in Leningrad.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 29 process: an estimated 88 percent of successful candidates were elected for the first time. for Gorbachev and his team. a newly created post designed to give him executive authority within the state that would be autonomous from both the CPSU and the Congress. Nonetheless. while none belonged to an alternative political party at the time of the elections. The Russian electoral law. the elections to soviets at the republic. elections were certainly paying dividends at this stage in the reform process. the 1989 elections to the Soviet Congress were the most important elections. The idea to hold these elections was consistent with Gorbachev’s overall strategy of seeking to empower state institutions at the party’s expense. however. that is. As a tool for strengthening Gorbachev. and district levels to be held in the spring of 1990 seemed like an afterthought. elections were doing what Gorbachev had hoped. While local CPSU leaders were humiliated. regional.068 delegates from which a smaller Supreme Soviet would be selected. where both the first and second secretaries and most other lower-level party officials failed to win seats. Eighty-five percent of the new Soviet legislature were members of the CPSU. differed from the rules governing the election to the Soviet Congress in that no seats were set aside for social organizations. Out of seventy-five secretaries running unopposed. deputies quickly elected Gorbachev first as chairman of the Congress and later as president of the Soviet Union.16 Only nine out of thirty-two CPSU first secretaries won in contested races.8 percent of eligible voters in the USSR—and most newcomers to the political process were Gorbachev supporters. weakening or eliminating from power the CPSU’s most conservative bosses. their losses did not translate directly into gains for new political actors—or democrats as they were then labeled. The electoral process had sparked mass interest in politics.19 . Tens of thousands of people participated in the nominating process and voter turnout was an outstanding 89.18 The electoral law created a large Russian Congress of 1. For Gorbachev and his allies within the Politburo. Gorbachev and his colleagues did not approach these elections with the same level of attention that they devoted to the 1989 elections.

In addition. was repealed in February 1990—just weeks before the election—not giving new political parties enough time to organize. Instead. two main camps formed: the democrats and the communists. workers’ collectives at enterprises were granted primary power to nominate candidates. however. parties did not compete in this election. these elections stimulated an explosion of grassroots political activity throughout Russia. The 1990 elections were the first truly democratic elections in Soviet history. The democrats—a label used at the time by both their friends and their enemies—had begun to organize as a united political force well before the spring of 1990.30 | Elections Even though Gorbachev was worried about alienating conservative forces with direct elections in 1989. but by 1990 the party no longer wielded hegemonic control over every institute and factory. Split between reformists and conservatives. one defined by territory (168 seats) and the other by population (900 seats). Its slogans stressed that it opposed the Communist Party. In January 1990 they founded a new organization. The articulation of concrete alternative programs was not necessary at this stage in Russia’s transition. The nominating procedures still disadvantaged outsiders. the Communist Party could filter out unwanted candidates. Opposing the status quo was sufficient. voters could nominate candidates at a public meeting of 300 people instead of the 500 required for the 1989 election. and even opposed Gorbachev. At the same time.) Nonetheless. If no candidate won 50 percent of the vote in the first round. Because workers’ collectives still reported to CPSU secretaries within enterprises and institutes. (Article 6 of the Soviet Constitution. As in the 1989 elections. it did not orchestrate a national cam- . Democratic Russia ran against the status quo. a runoff between the top two finishers occurred two weeks later. which assumed primary responsibility for coordinating candidate recruitment and campaign activity for the nascent democratic movement.20 The sheer number of seats contested meant that a large segment of the population was involved in the nomination and campaign process and that each district contest had its unique characteristics. Formally. These elections to the Congress occurred simultaneously with elections for soviet deputies at lower levels. because noncommunist parties were just forming. Democratic Russia. all seats were filled in firstpast-the-post elections in two kinds of electoral districts. which had guaranteed the CPSU the leading role in Soviet society. this concern had either subsided or been taken over by other worries in 1990. opposed corruption. The second main player in the 1990 elections was the CPSU.

Gorbachev and his immediate circle incorrectly assumed that the republic-level soviets were not as important as the USSR Congress of Peoples Deputies. Latvia. the 1990 elections made him much weaker.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 31 paign or participate as an electoral party. Gorbachev did help his cause. A former Politburo candidate member. The next two elections. who won roughly one-third of the 1. reformed Union. This polarization remained until the collapse of the Soviet Union. the central cleavage in Soviet politics became territorial jurisdiction. Significant third positions or third parties had not emerged. Russian politics had become polarized into those supporting the old order and those behind Democratic Russia. declared their independence from the Soviet Union. as well as supreme soviets in several other republics. Russia’s democrats. Armenia.068 seats in the Russian Congress. The 1990 elections also stimulated the emergence of proto-party politics. The results for Gorbachev were even worse in republics such as Estonia. Gorbachev organized the March 1991 referendum as a way to strengthen his hand in negotiating a new federal treaty with the republics. Soon after the 1990 vote. At this stage in Russia’s political transformation. Many of them were people brand new to the Russian political process. viewed the 1990 elections as tremendous victories. while centrists occupied what Russians refer to as the boloto (swamp) in the middle. These democrats were no longer Gorbachev loyalists. Compared with the 1989 elections. But by this time Gorbachev loathed Yeltsin and did not want to see him back in politics in such a powerful position. Organizationally and ideologically. Democratic Russia occupied center stage as a national campaign and as a united front of those opposed to the old Soviet order. elections still served a liberalizing function. and Georgia. The Russian CPD. Elections were now producing unintended consequences for those who had initiated them. where anticommunist fronts won solid majorities.21 Communists won about 40 percent of Congress seats. and many CPSU officials campaigned as challengers to and opponents of those in power. the referendum on the fate of the Soviet Union in March 1991 and the June 1991 presidential elections in Russia. In those republics that conducted this . If the 1989 elections had made Gorbachev much stronger. became the de facto leader of the democratic forces and was subsequently elected chairman of the Russian Congress. were episodes in this polarized struggle. Yeltsin. Lithuania. In asking voters if they approved of a new. The 1990 elections served to further open up the political process to new individuals and new political forces. In these elections.

Gorbachev’s referendum was obviously a special event. or a normative commitment to a separation of powers or to checks and balances. not the result of a carefully plotted strategy.25 The CPD had elected Yeltsin as chairman by a slim margin in the spring of 1990.4 percent voted no. a petition had circulated to remove him as chairman. The Russian presidential vote was also a political tactic designed to strengthen Yeltsin’s hand. his aides concocted the idea of creating a Russian presidency. conservative forces in the Soviet government upset with Gorbachev’s plans for transforming the USSR’s federal organization tried to seize power in a military coup.32 | Elections referendum.24 Neither of these votes. however. and neither vote helped to end the transition. Because Yeltsin remained extremely popular among Russian voters. and three months later Yeltsin won Russia’s first presidential election in a landslide. Their efforts failed miserably. This new office—complete with autonomy from the Congress and legitimacy from the people—was designed to give Yeltsin more power in his battles with his communist and Soviet government enemies.3 percent voted yes. but by the spring of 1991 his support within the Congress had fallen dramatically. In Russia. but instead pushed for an additional question to be added to the Russian ballot that asked voters if they supported the idea of creating a Russian presidency. 76. Yeltsin was elected to this new office well before the Russian Constitution had been amended to spell out the president’s powers.26 In August 1991.23 In the Russian Federation.”22 At the same time. Yeltsin dismissed the referendum as a simple ploy for “preserving the imperial and unitary essence of the system. Russia’s president was to be directly elected by the people. a philosophy about the need for direct elections of executives. Both were extraordinary events that occurred suddenly as the direct consequence of immediate political struggles. By the opening session of the Third Congress in March 1991. 71. A large majority answered yes. Few countries ask their voters if they want to dissolve the state or not. The push to create a Russian presidency was a response to a concrete political situation. and instead helped to pre- .4 percent of all voters supported the preservation of the Union. which could be done by a simple majority vote. a mere two months after the Russian presidential elections. Yeltsin did not campaign against the vote. elections were occurring before the political rules of the game had been codified or agreed upon. while only 26. first-round victory over five other candidates. a mechanism that ensured Yeltsin victory. the basic procedures for both the elections were generally free and fair. could be considered normal events punctuating the end of a democratic transition. In other words. Unlike the Soviet president.

elections were not part of the goals or objectives of the political conflict (as in many cases of democratization elsewhere).Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 33 cipitate the end of the Soviet Union in December 1991. Securing or impeding these latter two objectives defined most of the drama of Russia’s transition from Soviet communist rule. particularly for the Russian parliament.27 During this tumultuous period Yeltsin did initiate several major political changes. He banned the CPSU. Yeltsin took the initiative to negotiate the end of the Soviet Union once and for all. Throughout the tumultuous period between the first semicompetitive elections in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991. but rather the means for obtaining other ends. During these last years of the Soviet Union. elections took place in the context of a social revolution. December 1993 After the failed August 1991 coup attempt. The August 1991 coup attempt in effect took one major issue of contestation off the table: no more referenda about the fate of the Soviet Union would be held. the goal of consolidating democratic institutions was less important to most actors than the debates about economic transformation or Russian independence. Rather than asking voters about their opinions again. there was much discussion among Russia’s democrats about whether Yeltsin should convene new elections. Others pushed for a referendum on the newly penned Russian Constitution. Yeltsin and his allies used elections to gain access to political power as a way to pursue economic transformation and Soviet dissolution. subordinated Soviet ministries to the . elections in the Soviet Union and Russia did not provide the same positive force for the development of democratic institutions and practices in Russia as elections have performed in other democratic transitions. Unlike transitions to democracy in Latin America and southern Europe. They reasoned that the popularity of Yeltsin and Democratic Russia would decline quickly once they initiated the painful steps involved in economic reform. Yeltsin did neither. Some within Democratic Russia argued that Yeltsin needed to seize advantage of his immense popularity in the wake of his successful stance against the coup attempt. the transition from Soviet communist rule was not only about crafting new democratic institutions. During this kind of regime change. Negotiations about new rules of the game for the political system occurred at the same time that the Soviet command economy was being transformed into a market system and the Soviet state was being dissolved. Russia’s Belated Founding Election. Consequently.

Institutional ambiguity between the president and the Congress did not have an immediate impact on politics. Eager to avoid what they perceived as Gorbachev’s mistake of putting politics before economics. stalemate.28 In this renewed polarized context. But he did not push for ratification of a new constitution even though he had a draft in hand. With no formal. The disagreement about economic reform in turn spawned a constitutional crisis between the parliament and the president. both sides attempted to use elections to bolster their respective sides. he threatened to use the election weapon yet again. because at that time most deputies in the Congress supported Yeltsin. political polarization occurred once again. and. poorly defined political institutions fueled ambiguity. Instead.34 | Elections Russian state. Both sides feared a new direct election. The failure to secure a new electoral mandate to rule or a popular ratification of the rules of the game for governing Russia had destabilizing consequences for the new state. After price liberalization and the beginning of radical economic reform in January 1992. the Congress and Yeltsin argued about questions to be asked in a new referendum. and he refrained from convoking a post-communist founding election. For most of the winter of 1993. his successor as chairman of the Congress. scheduled for January 1993. Yeltsin’s team concentrated their energies on dismantling the Soviet command economy and creating a new market system. but both were also eager to secure a new popular mandate. many in Yeltsin’s new government believed that economic transformation was a precondition for democracy. Indeed. or even informal. most dramatically. however. and then. institutions to structure relations between the president and the Congress. in December 1991 dissolved the USSR. Russian voters had no private political rights to defend. the Congress began a campaign to reassert its authority over the president. between the president and the Congress of Peoples Deputies. Yeltsin considered Ruslan Khasbulatov. “Whom do you trust to take the country out of economic and political crisis [and] restore the . In response to a series of constitutional amendments proposed by the Congress that Yeltsin deemed illegitimate. Yeltsin and his new government used their political mandate to initiate economic transformation. and conflict both between the federal and subnational units of the state. Without private property. The most vocal proponents of this logic advocated a Pinochet type of dictatorship as an interim regime between command communism and capitalist democracy. As discussed in later chapters in more detail. to answer the question. more consequentially. a close ally. He called for a referendum.

which then set the stage for dueling referendum proposals from the Congress and Yeltsin on everything from impeachment to land reform. the outcome of the first two questions had no obvious consequences.5 percent) supported early presidential elections. they did not. 53 percent expressed their approval of Yeltsin’s socioeconomic policy.3 percent who did not. and extreme uncertainty about Russia’s economic future. compared with 39. while 44. this vote did not create momentum toward the consolidation of a new democratic polity. • Do you trust Russian President Yeltsin? • Do you approve of the socioeconomic policy conducted by the Russian president and by the Russian government since 1992? • Should a new presidential election be conducted in advance of the scheduled date? • Should a new parliamentary election be conducted in advance of the scheduled date? As specified in the agreement between Yeltsin and the Congress.7 percent of voters affirmed their trust in Yeltsin. In essence. Regarding questions three and four a plurality (49. while the third and fourth questions needed a majority of all eligible voters (and not just a majority of those voting) to be considered binding. Amazingly. The Constitutional Court declared Yeltsin’s referendum question unconstitutional. voters were being asked their opinion about the revolution midstream in the revolution.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 35 Russian Federation: the present composition of the Congress and the Supreme Soviet or the President?” According to Yeltsin.5 percent disapproved. skyrocketing inflation. Like votes during the Gorbachev era. the winner of this electoral duel would remain in power with a mandate to control the course of reforms and the loser would be forced to face new elections in April 1993.2 percent) called for new parliamentary elections. These results reflected the highly polarized nature of Russian politics at the time. Given the sharp downward turn in real incomes. 58. Even more amazingly. Eventually they reached a compromise to ask the following four questions in an April 1993 referendum. while a solid majority (67. but served as a gauge of popular support for diametrically opposed sides.29 . most predicted that Russian voters would act similarly to voters in other post-communist transitions and use this ballot to protest the pain of economic transformation. On the first question.

Not surprisingly. compelling some to label the regime a super-presidential system. the State Duma. which stated that the new lower house of parliament. Yeltsin seemed eager to establish new political rules in which elections would play a crucial role. but not overwhelmingly. as the new president. the president used his unquestioned power to dictate the new rules of the game: he violated fundamental democratic principles by dissolving an elected parliament through unconstitutional means. the referendum did not prove to be decisive in resolving the political confrontation that was paralyzing the Russian state. Tragically. which was earlier than scheduled. Aleksandr Rutskoi. the new draft constitution gave the president extraordinary powers. he showed the same disregard for the electoral process by dissolving regional soviets. which ended on October 4. Yeltsin also announced that elections for a new bicameral parliament would take place in December. 31 After October 4. Yeltsin issued Presidential Decree Number 1400. In a replay of August 1991. He published a draft constitution and called for a referendum on the constitution in December. The Congress rejected Yeltsin’s decree as unconstitutional and instead impeached him and appointed his vice president. and he removed three out of eight regional heads of administration who had been elected several months earlier. Yeltsin fiated into place a new electoral system. Once again a politician was convoking elections in an ad hoc manner for immediate political purposes. which dissolved the Russian Congress and called for a referendum to adopt a new constitution. Yeltsin had announced his intention to hold a new presidential election in June of the following year. Yeltsin used decrees to put new electoral laws in place. Consequently. 1993. With no parliament in place at the time. would be elected according to a mixed system: half of the 450 seats were to be determined by a first-pastthe-post system in newly drawn up electoral districts (similar to elections of House representatives in the United States).30 At the same time. the impasse between president Yeltsin and his opponents in parliament only ended after the use of force.32 Earlier in the crisis. Although surprised with the results. because Yeltsin’s percentage of support in this vote was lower than in his 1991 electoral victory. On September 21. the anti-Yeltsin coalition still believed that it was gaining popular support. but he later reneged on this promise. while the other half were to be . the situation was only resolved when one side—Yeltsin’s side—prevailed in a military conflict.36 | Elections Yeltsin won this referendum. After Yeltsin’s successful use of force against the Congress. 1993.

the constitution has yet to be amended. the electoral law governing the composition of the Duma has remained basically unchanged since 1993.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 37 allocated according to a system of proportional representation. oblast. The December 1993 vote was also the first election in Russia’s brief democratic history in which political parties had the opportunity to participate fully. it helped to legitimate the constitution. . along with its rural partner. Since 1993. but some extreme nationalist and communist groups decided to boycott the elections. decided to participate in these electoral contests. From 1993 on. and some people could not participate because they were still in jail after the October 1993 conflict. Their agreement to participate had major consequences. a milestone for democratic consolidation and stability. As discussed in the following sections. Above all. Its participation also had positive consequences for the acceptance of elections as the only legitimate means for coming to power.33 Parties had to win at least 5 percent of the vote to win seats on the proportional representation ballot. the rules for selecting senators have changed virtually every electoral cycle. or krai) would cast two votes for their senatorial candidates on one list. Russia’s major communist party. The December 1993 elections served as a founding election for Russia’s new political system. the upper house. meaning that adoption of this constitution was likely to produce a lasting set of political institutions for post-communist Russia. Despite numerous attempts to change it. To serve as a founding election the vote had to be legitimate and all major political forces had to participate.35 The Federation Council has not enjoyed such stability. Even though the CPRF formally called upon its supporters to vote against the new constitution.34 For the Federation Council. Yeltsin’s draft constitution outlined difficult procedures for amending it. national elections for the Duma have occurred as scheduled and under rules previously agreed to by all participants. the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF). the Agrarian Party of Russia. the presidential administration decreed that voters in each region (republic. The top two finishers in each region would win. The incorporation of proportional representation into the electoral system for the Duma gave parties an additional incentive to organize and to participate in this vote. even though they had just been on the opposite side of the barricades from the man who was calling for and setting the rules for these elections. its participation in the parliamentary vote suggested that it was planning to participate in Yeltsin’s new polity. Most important. their objective was to ratify a new set of political rules of the game.

Elections to the Federation Council also produced few surprises. Aleksandr Sobyanin. because Russia’s law governing referenda required more than 50 percent of all eligible voters to participate for the referendum to be valid. Of the twenty-one electoral blocs that submitted signatures to qualify for the ballot. The results of the constitutional referendum went according to plan. 58.8 percent. Officially. the 1993 vote introduced several antidemocratic practices into the electoral process. Many observers. including three prominent nationalist electoral blocs. Unaccustomed to voting for more than one candidate. Sobyanin and others presented evidence that claimed to show that the Yeltsin administration had inflated the turnout. . a democratic process did not generate them. First. ensuring that the referendum was valid.38 | Elections At the same time. It did not emerge out of debate and compromise. The Duma elections. Several prominent members of Yeltsin’s government were on the party list for Russia’s Choice. did not go according to plan. Turnout was reported to be 54. Voters then had only two choices—pass or reject—and had to make this decision with almost no time to become familiar with the draft. The range of competitive candidates had narrowed. Only eight of the sixty-six heads of administration who competed in these elections lost and only a handful of candidates who were not affiliated with either the old or the new regional elites won.4 percent of the voters supported Yeltsin’s constitution while 41. Russia’s Choice. The two-mandate ballot also created opportunities for falsification. giving local electoral commissions an easy opportunity to mark a second name during ballot counting. Yeltsin had agreed to the mixed electoral system because his aides had advised him that proportional representation would be of the greatest benefit to the propresidential electoral bloc on the ballot. whether a majority of eligible voters did indeed vote yes on the constitutional referendum remains a mystery. including one particularly active and vocal member of the Central Election Commission. however. Finally.36 In particular. the president issued a decree to establish the electoral rules. eight were disqualified. many voters marked only one name. claimed that these results had been falsified.37 Such claims of falsification had not seriously tainted previous Soviet elections in 1989 and Russian elections in 1990. but instead was drafted by the winners of the October 1993 military standoff. Second. The same must be said for the constitution. the 1993 elections were the first time since 1989 that the state had actively intervened to eliminate candidates from the ballot.2 percent opposed it.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s Liberal Democratic Party of Russia won almost a quarter of the popular vote. Quite unexpectedly. while the other democratic parties each won less than 10 percent of the popular vote. Third. Compared with the referendum vote. the proportional representation vote did stimulate the formation of a party system at the national level. or centrists—fared poorly. Antisystemic or extraconstitutional challenges to the regime subsided significantly after the 1993 elections. little evidence of fraud was apparent in the Duma elections.38 First and foremost. an extremist nationalist party initially dominated the final arrival of multiparty politics. Second. The CPRF and its rural spin-off. the 1993 electoral system for the Duma gave rise to parliamentary party formation. In eliminating several blocs from the party list. combined to win nearly 20 percent of the party list vote. In retrospect. the vote also exhibited how an increasingly powerful state could manipulate elections and electoral outcomes. In rural areas Agrarian candidates won. “Outsiders”—whether democrats. The 1993 elections produced four conflicting results for democratization in general. Successful candidates were predominantly from the old Soviet nomenklatura. communists dominated. This may have reflected the Yeltsin administration’s lack of concern about this election. and in major urban areas candidates supported by the local party of power prevailed.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 39 Some polls predicted that Yeltsin’s allies might win a majority of seats in the new parliament. Yeltsin and his government demonstrated their weak normative commitment to free and fair elections. Yeltsin and his allies indicated that they were willing to violate even the basic rules of democratic behavior if the stakes were high enough. Zhirinovsky’s surprising victory implied that the state could not control every aspect of the electoral process. Elections for Duma single-mandate seats did not parallel the proportional representation ballot. although they made up a smaller percentage of victors than in the Federation Council. neocommunists. in the “red belt. rust-belt region. because real power remained vested in the Kremlin and Yeltsin also had a loyal Federal Council. however.” Russia’s poor. nationalists. the Agrarian Party of Russia. In allegedly falsifying the results of the constitutional referendum. the vote helped to establish elections as the only game in town. Fourth. or less than half of what it had expected. . These predictions were grossly flawed. As expected. Russia’s Choice secured a paltry 15 percent.

had replaced Yeltsin’s electoral decree mandating a mixed electoral system. The number of those still dedicated to seizing power by nonelectoral means was dwindling. Uncertainty and the Rise of the State. as uncertainty about the result of the 1996 presidential elections grew.41 . The Competitive Duma Elections The parliament elected in 1993 was an interim body whose term expired after two years.39 In December 1993. Elections in Russia seemed to be gravitating toward their function in other democracies. since the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia eventually became (for the right price) a loyal Kremlin supporter on key parliamentary votes.40 | Elections some observers speculated that Yeltsin and his government wanted Zhirinovsky to succeed in 1993. Several individuals and groups that had boycotted the 1993 elections. the 1995–1997 Electoral Cycle By several measures. Above all. the same electoral cycle could exhibit both positive and negative trends in the democratic function of elections. Zhirinovsky’s surprising showing was a protest vote against the status quo. June 1996 seemed a lot closer.40 But suddenly in December 1993. including the radical communists led by Viktor Tyulkin and Viktor Anpilov. The institutional context for the 1995 parliamentary elections was much more stable than in 1993. A new law. which preserved the same balance of seats between single-mandate districts and proportional representation. the 1995 parliamentary elections and the 1995–1997 gubernatorial elections rank as the most competitive. and fair elections in Russian history. Yeltsin aides took comfort in the fact that the next presidential election would not take place until 1996. The 1995 Duma elections took place under the same basic electoral rules as the 1993 vote. his surprising electoral victory fueled doubt within the Yeltsin ranks about the president’s ability to hold on to power through the ballot box. the 1996 presidential election was less free and less fair than the previous presidential vote in 1991. however. In other words. free. decided to participate in the 1995 vote. Opposing political forces had not been warring with each other just months earlier. but had grown comfortable with parliamentary practices under a constitution and were eager to return to power. By contrast.

but yet again was the CPRF. the Yeltsin administration openly promoted the formation of two new electoral blocs dominated by former CPSU apparatchiks who had switched allegiance to Yeltsin’s consolidating party of power. winning an astonishing 58 seats. which between 1993 and 1995 had devoted tremendous energy and resources to rebuilding networks and structures left over from decades of rule by the CPSU. Many new entrants also competed for the communist vote. several new nationalist and patriotic groups appeared on the ballot in 1995. The CPRF made impressive gains. One component of the Kremlin’s party of power did not even reach the 5 percent threshold. led by former vice president Aleksandr Rutskoi. The most successful opposition party in 1995 was not Zhirinovsky’s or any of the new electoral blocs. headed by former Soviet premier Nikolai Ryzhkov and Sergei Baburin.43 While the basic rules governing the electoral process did not change between 1993 and 1995. CPRF candidates also dominated singlemandate races. of which the most important were the Congress of Russian Communities. winning almost a quarter of the popular vote and reclaiming its role as the leader of the opposition. the numbers of participants and the balance of support between competitors changed dramatically. The number of electoral blocs that registered for the ballot rose from thirteen in 1993 to forty-three in 1995. Early in the campaign period. but was not yet strong enough to alter the basic composition of the Duma. The Kremlin’s project failed to shape the contours of the multiparty system. and Power to the People. Derzhava [Power]. In 1995. while Ivan Rybkin was ordered by the Kremlin to form a left-of-center bloc. Viktor Chernomyrdin’s Our Home Is Russia bloc was supposed to represent the right-of-center.42 The power of the federal state was growing.44 Buoyed by party identification on the ballot. Zhirinovsky won less than . while the prime minister’s party won a paltry 10 percent. To steal votes away from Zhirinovsky. The boundaries of the single-mandate districts did change: a quarter of all districts disappeared entirely. headed by Yuri Skokov and General Aleksandr Lebed.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 41 This continuity remained despite attempts by Yeltsin’s supporters to increase the number of single-mandate seats and to decrease the number of seats allocated according to proportional representation. including the coalition of radicals headed by Anpilov and Tyulkin known as Communist–Working Russia–for the Soviet Union. and another seventh were reconfigured. the main competition was for the opposition vote.

Chernomyrdin’s Our Home Is Russia was the only reformist party to break through to double digits. Rather than direct elections to the Federal Council. On the whole. Yavlinsky. the selfproclaimed leading party of Russia’s democratic opposition. The new law stipulated that the Federal Council would consist of two officials from each subnational territory: the chair of the legislature and the head of administration. including massive irregularities in Chechnya. however. Once again. electoral support for apolitical. followed by automatic appointment to this national body. Such a formulation gave gov- .9 percent of the popular vote. they were obliterated on both ballots in 1995. the rules governing the formation of the Federation Council changed dramatically between 1993 and 1995 in a nondemocratic direction. won a meager 7 percent. tainted the electoral results. centrist parties and blocs collapsed. or Gaidar—had been pushed even further to the margins. ideologically vague. a major setback for democratic parties. Former acting prime minister Yegor Gaidar and his Democratic Choice of Russia suffered the greatest setback in 1995. and a firm rebuff of both Yeltsin and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin. leaders and parties from the old Soviet nomenklatura now dominated both the reformist and opposition wings of Russia’s polarized political spectrum. New political actors with weak ties to the old Soviet elite on both sides—whether Zhirinovsky. The Federation Council: Two Steps Backward In contrast with the electoral law for the State Duma. winning only 3.42 | Elections half his 1993 total.45 The 1995 parliamentary vote also produced a less noticeable change than earlier Soviet and Russian elections. almost a full percentage point less than Yabloko’s 1993 showing. In 1995. Russian politics looked increasingly bipolar rather than multipolar. Pockets of falsification. Our Home Is Russia also violated spending limits and dominated the national television airwaves. but still placed second with 11 percent of the popular vote. Whereas these kinds of parties and personalities had won almost a quarter of the popular vote on the party list ballot and roughly a third of the single-mandate seats in 1993. regional executives (presidents in republics and governors in oblasts and krais) and heads of regional parliaments pushed for direct elections for their regional offices. all major political actors accepted the results as valid. Grigory Yavlinsky’s Yabloko. These results appeared to signal a major victory for opposition forces. Finally. or less than one-third of its 1993 total.

Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 43 ernors increased local legitimacy and greater autonomy from Yeltsin and Moscow.48 Yeltsin won easily in the second round.47 By March 1996 Yeltsin had reasserted his claim to the reformist electorate. because elected governors would be harder to dismiss than appointed ones. not backward. At the same time. polarized categories. who everyone rightly believed was certain to advance to the second round. the widely unpopular incumbent. setting the stage for a second-round runoff between Zyuganov and Yeltsin. while Zyuganov captured 32 percent. However. It also meant that parties would have a marginal role in the upper house. when the vote became a binary choice between the communist and the anticommunist. Lebed came in third with a distant 14 percent. Yeltsin’s entire campaign message painted him as the lesser of two evils. Gennady Zyuganov looked poised to present a major challenge to Yeltsin. In a field of a dozen candidates. Yeltsin spent massive resources on television. winning 54 percent of the popular vote compared with Zyuganov’s 40 percent. In contrast with electoral trends in many parts of post-communist Europe. With the contest framed in this way. since few oblast and krai governors or republican presidents publicly identified with political parties. the vast majority of Russians still favored moving forward. Yeltsin’s team also unleashed a hard-hitting. the Federation Council emerged as a powerful lobby for regional interests.46 The 1996 Presidential Election As the 1996 presidential election approached. To help voters understand the 1996 election in these binary. Yeltsin could assert that he was the only anticommunist candidate capable of defeating Zyuganov. negative media blitz against Zyuganov and his party that successfully defined the election as a referendum on seventy years of Soviet communism and deftly avoided letting the vote be about Yeltsin’s record. In the second round. Yeltsin barely managed to win more votes than his communist opponent: in the first round Yeltsin won 35 percent of the vote. the reemergence of the Communist Party as the main opposition force allowed those in power to frame the 1996 contest yet again as a referendum between communism and anticommunism. After 1995. and print . blurring the divisions both between executive and legislative powers and between national and subnational units of the federal system. Russian voters opted to retain their first democratically elected leader for a second term. This new formulation also gave governors a direct voice in national legislative affairs. radio.

but it too unabashedly backed Yeltsin. the state’s resources played a pivotal role in determining the outcome of the 1996 vote. Every nightly news program reported favorably and often on the Yeltsin campaign. Yeltsin and his campaign also threatened to use state power in the most egregious violation of democratic practices. and Russia’s second channel. Yeltsin made a habit of promising every region he visited something special in return for its electoral support. Anatoly Chubais. was privately owned by Vladimir Gusinsky. Although not illegal. who stood to lose the most from a Zyuganov victory and to gain the most from a Yeltsin victory.51 Nonetheless. the specter of postponement cast a long. some officials in Yeltsin’s government openly advocated postponing the vote altogether. The same logic applied to all of Russia’s oligarchs. As Russia’s two largest television networks. NTV. these were invaluable tools for the Kremlin in casting Zyuganov as a dangerous communist who would disrupt people’s lives even more if he came to power. Yeltsin also raised pensions and increased the salaries of government employees. During the campaign. convinced him to stay the electoral course.44 | Elections media. Throughout the entire campaign period. It was state power—specifically Yeltsin’s remaining power to give away state properties—that secured support from the oligarchs in this election. More than any previous competitive election in the USSR or Russia. Some Communist Party campaign . Yeltsin admits that he seriously considered canceling the election. this use of state funds for personal electoral gain did not strengthen the democratic process. Russia’s third largest television network.50 On the campaign trail. Even though accurate figures have never been gathered. 100 percent state owned. These same programs either ignored or aired negative news about other candidates. the financial support these oligarchs offered ensured that Yeltsin’s campaign grossly violated campaign funding limits. In his memoirs. in part to keep Zyuganov out of the Kremlin. undemocratic shadow over the electoral process. Russia’s first channel. owned in part by the state but controlled at the time by Kremlin loyalist Boris Berezovsky. ORT. even though Yeltsin ultimately abided by the electoral process and fired the advocates of postponement from his administration. RTR. were completely loyal to Yeltsin. Only a last minute intervention by his daughter and his campaign manager. and in part because it hoped for Kremlin favors after the election should Yeltsin win.49 Yeltsin also deployed more traditional tactics of distributing government pork (or promising to distribute government pork) to obtain support from regional heads of administration.

which intended to be more moderate. but the new organization specifically avoided backing extremist challengers. scattered reports of falsification surfaced throughout Russia. even if this moderate policy at times clashed with the plans of more radical local Communist Party officials. The gubernatorial elections were virtually devoid of ideology. the National Patriotic Union of Russia. who ran as the CPRF candidate. where the war was still going on. believing that he had no chance of taking power. Zyuganov then announced the formation of a new political organization. and North Ossetia. especially in the national republics. Above all. Zyuganov proclaimed that his new political organization should be viewed as a supporter of the current system and had no revolutionary ambitions to undermine the regime. and relations with the Kremlin emerged as factors that decided electoral outcomes. The National Patriotic Union of Russia announced plans to support a dozen candidates in the upcoming cycle of fifty-two gubernatorial elections. or national issues. participated in Yeltsin’s inauguration. Two of the top three candidates—Yeltsin and Lebed— ran without a party affiliation.53 Instead competency.5 percent turnout for Chechnya.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 45 officials asserted that Zyuganov essentially gave up toward the end of the race. with 74 percent of these votes going to Yeltsin. where swings of support away from Zyuganov to Yeltsin between the first and second rounds of the election were dramatic. Regional Elections The atmosphere of intense polarization and heightened confrontation during the 1996 presidential campaign virtually disappeared after the election. Zyuganov and his party accepted defeat. Tatarstan. Even Zyuganov. . Zyuganov won fewer votes in the second round than he did in the first.52 As discussed in greater detail in chapter 5. tried to distance his campaign from his party by creating the National Patriotic Bloc. raising questions about whether the incumbent regime was still a positive force for further democratic consolidation. Finally. centrist. name recognition. and nationalist than the CPRF. Official reports cite a 74. In Dagestan. the 1996 presidential election also underscored the ancillary role political parties played in determining electoral outcomes. political platforms. The electoral process in 1996 looked less democratic than earlier votes. and then overwhelmingly approved of Chernomyrdin as Yeltsin’s choice for prime minister.

Most amazingly. As the candidate supported by the CPRF. these gubernatorial races were still contests between an incumbent loyal to Yeltsin and a communist challenger. The elections were extremely competitive and incumbents lost in roughly half of the fifty races. elections become more competitive and more consequential over time. The 1999 Duma Elections The prelude to the 1999 parliamentary election and the 2000 presidential election was filled with uncertainty about who would win. executives at the city and district levels or representatives loyal to the regional head of government constituted the majority in local assemblies. New political groups and parties independent of the new party of power and the old party of power (the communists) played only a marginal role in local legislative elections. Fatherland-All Russia (OVR). The 1999–2001 Electoral Cycle: Narrowing the Function of Elections In consolidating democracies. and Yeltsin’s declining health created the appearance of weakness and disarray in the Kremlin. Just a year before the presidential election. but few believed that the sitting president could win a free and fair election. they had not produced a candidate to replace Yeltsin. At the beginning of the fall 1999 . for prime minister in September 1998. the subsequent instability in the government. Former prime minister Yevgeny Primakov eventually joined Luzhkov’s nomenklatura opposition coalition.46 | Elections With few exceptions. In Russia. Primakov was Yeltsin’s nemesis. Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov made clear early on that he planned to participate in the next electoral cycle as an opposition candidate. all the losers left office peacefully. After a brief flirtation with the CPRF. In most regions. the opposite trend has occurred. Primakov joined OVR instead and agreed to participate in the 1999 parliamentary elections as steps toward winning the 2000 presidential election. The combination of the August 1998 financial crash. but the differences separating such candidates became increasingly difficult to recognize. The Kremlin’s lack of a game plan for staying in power eventually triggered defection among many of those considered to be part of the ruling party of power. Rumors swirled that Yeltsin would violate or change the constitution and run for a third term. Those in power looked vulnerable.

For the first time in its post-communist history. Primakov was ahead of all other presidential contenders by a large margin. RTR assumed a similar mission. Opinion polls suggest that this negative campaigning had consequences for OVR in the parliamentary vote. Russian tycoon Berezovsky invented a new pro-presidential electoral bloc. At the time. the war effort—especially as portrayed on ORT and RTR—was popular. Berezovsky hired the best electoral consultants money could buy and then deployed the full force of his ORT television station to promote Unity and destroy OVR. To a lesser degree. Putin in turn endorsed Unity. Those close to Yeltsin in the Kremlin—called “the family” by many Russian media outlets—were not going to vacate their fortress without a fight. and soon catapulted Putin’s popularity into double digits and above all other presidential contenders. led most famously by Sergei Dorenko. The blessing of the popular prime minister helped the virtual electoral bloc win nearly a quarter of the popular vote. Working closely with figures in the presidential administration. Putin. but ended the campaign season with only 13 percent. Indirectly. his enemies in and close to the Kremlin decided to join the battle against the former prime minister in the parliamentary election as well. another arm of the state—the armed forces—contributed to the rise of Unity and the eventual presidential winner. Prime Minister Putin had a negligible approval rating. Russia appeared poised to hand over presidential power from one political group to another through the ballot box. the 1999 election was the first time that the federal government became actively involved in a parliamentary contest. unleashed the most vicious personal attacks of any Russian campaign against OVR leaders.54 State resources contributed to this new electoral bloc. Because Primakov decided to compete in the 1999 parliamentary vote as a way to build momentum for 2000. OVR began the fall electoral campaign hoping to capture as much as a quarter of the popular vote. however. Russian armed forces responded to an attack by Chechen rebel forces against Dagestan and alleged terrorist attacks against Russian civilians in Moscow and elsewhere by invading Chechnya in September 1999. Unity. often referred to in the Russian press at the time as a “virtual” party. ORT newscasters and commentators.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 47 campaign. . As a result. The power of the Kremlin played a tremendous role in shaping the outcome of the 1999 election. an outcome no one had predicted at the beginning of the campaign.

Upon naming Putin prime minister in August 1999. Yeltsin had hinted that he hoped Putin would replace him as president the following year. Unity placed second with 23 percent. Yeltsin gave his heir one last boost by resigning as president on December 31. but it could not construct opposition majorities to Kremlin initiatives. As in 1995. Yeltsin’s decision to resign was critical in helping Putin win the 2000 presidential election in the first round. . The speaker of the Duma elected in 2000. Putin further weakened the Communist Party’s opposition by courting individual leaders in an attempt to divide the party. The Communist Party still controlled a solid minority of seats. OVR’s showing was so poor that Primakov decided not to run in the 2000 presidential election. a divided and weakened Communist Party. and strong backing from independents and other smaller factions produced a parliament solidly supportive of Putin on major issues. the Union of Right Forces. As Putin’s popularity peaked in January and slowly declined until election day in March. followed by OVR in distant third place with 13 percent. Yabloko. When the distribution of seats from single-mandate races was added into the equation. the balance of power within the parliament had moved in a decisively pro-Putin direction. an act that moved the date of the presidential election from June to March. turned out to be more loyal to Putin than to the Communist Party that had helped put him in power. The newly revamped liberal coalition.55 The combination of a loyal Unity. The only question was whether he would win in the first or second rounds. surprised many by winning more than 8 percent of the popular vote. a sometimes supportive Union of Right Forces (SPS). winning only 6 percent of the party list vote and just barely crossing the 5 percent threshold. 1999.48 | Elections The results of the 1999 parliamentary vote radically altered the balance of power within the Duma and determined the winner of the 2000 presidential race. almost double the total of its chief liberal rival. the CPRF won the largest percentage of any party. The 2000 Presidential Election The results of the 1999 parliamentary election indicated that Putin was going to win the 2000 presidential election. Zhirinovsky’s Liberal Democratic Party of Russia continued to fade. Communist Party member Gennady Seleznov. 24 percent. an outcome that ensured Zyuganov a second-place finish yet again in the presidential contest the next year.

both made statements about being robbed of votes in the 2000 election. First. 5. However. In sixty-four regions where elections were held in both 1995–1997 and in 1999–2001. unlike in the 1995–1997 electoral cycle. Voters in 2000 had less information about the front-runner and eventual winner than in any previous presidential vote. these television stations documented his every move in glowing terms. Even though presidential candidates Zyuganov and Yavlinsky won roughly the same or an even bigger share of votes in 2000 compared with their parties’ achievements in 1999 (29. Two factors explain most of the change. but earlier—either in government offices or in courts. less benign. but lost in only a third of the races in 1999–2001. At least one-third of the changes in governorships took place under . That Putin just barely won more than 50 percent of the popular vote in the first round also fueled speculation of massive fraud.9 percent for Yabloko in 1999). thirty-two governors were replaced in the first cycle and only twenty-one in the second. Most oligarchs and regional heads of administration also stumbled over each other in trying to show their support for Putin. Since everyone knew he was going to win. Though Putin did not run an official campaign. by contrast. Turnout was high for an election lacking any intrigue.3 percent for CPRF in 1999. Since Putin came to power. these incumbents had already survived one election and therefore had experience in organizing campaigns and winning. they all wanted to jump on the bandwagon. factor also helps account for the change.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 49 During the abbreviated campaign period in 2000. Incumbents lost in roughly half of the gubernatorial elections in 1995–1997. Putin continued to enjoy the unequivocal support of ORT and RTR. His opponents. The presumption of inevitable victory allowed Putin to avoid outlining his policy ideas. regional elections were increasingly decided not at the polling stations and not on the day of voting. Second. received no attention at all from these Kremlinfriendly media outlets. which he considered demeaning for a sitting president.8 percent for Yavlinsky in 2000 compared with 5.2 percent for Zyuganov in 2000 compared with 24. especially when compared with the competitive parliamentary elections held three months earlier. a third. Reports of falsification in Russia’s regions traditionally known for practicing fraud were widespread. powerful leaders were fighting for reelection.56 Regional Elections Incumbent governors were much more successful in this electoral cycle.

Putin’s plan called for appointing two representatives from each region. Putin’s ability to assemble super-majorities in the Duma—that is. in 1993 Federation Council members were elected directly by the people. they also suffered from a loss of political power within the federal government. majorities capable of overriding vetoes of bills by the Federation Council—gave him the capacity to alter the organization of the national system of government.50 | Elections strange circumstances in which incumbent governors under pressure either refused to participate in the race (and those who stepped aside were often rewarded with a seat on the Federation Council). Indeed. the Federation Council ratified the new formulation in July 2000. The new constitution of the upper house weakens another institutional check on the president’s power. Because Federation Council members are not elected. however. Instead of direct elections or personal representation of regions by governors and legislative heads. To everyone’s surprise. The Russian Constitution states that the Federation Council will consist of two representatives from each region. In the interim between the 1993 and 1995 parliamentary votes. While regional heads of administration generally had an easier time getting elected in this electoral cycle than in the previous one.57 Federation Council members resisted this reform. Putin proposed a third reformulation for constituting the Federation Council. Several new senators had never even visited their region until their . knowing that they would lose their apartments and offices in Moscow. The constitution does not specify how these representatives should be selected. and their influence in the corridors of power of the Russian government. After a fierce battle in which the Duma threatened to override a Federation Council veto and Kremlin officials apparently threatened governors with criminal investigations if they did not support Putin’s plan. anecdotal evidence suggests that increasing numbers of senators are de facto nominated by the Kremlin and not by regional governors and legislators. or were not allowed to participate in the election because of a court decision. As already discussed. they do not have the same political authority or public standing as elected officials. Putin made reform of the Federation Council one of his top political goals in his first months in office. and reorganize he did. The new formula also makes it more difficult for regional leaders to coordinate their actions in relation to the federal government. their immunity as members of the national parliament. regional leaders succeeded in changing the law governing the formation of the Federation Council to give them even greater control of the upper house of parliament. Soon after coming to office.

That the rules for forming the upper house have changed three times in as many electoral cycles is not a good sign for democratic consolidation. the rules for constituting the Federation Council changed yet again in this electoral cycle. The state also wielded its power in determining winners and losers in regional elections in a more direct way by disqualifying candidates and removing others from the ballot. the Kremlin actively engaged in the parliamentary race for the first time. Such practices clearly violate the basic principles of electoral democracy. Democratic consolidation faces other barriers also. using negative campaign techniques never before witnessed in a Russian election. this lack of legitimacy could undermine the council’s ability to make independent decisions. The tremendous resources of the federal government and its regional allies dwarfed the electoral resources of any other party or candidate. They are not. presidential. A decade after instituting elections such antidemocratic practices should be declining. especially for elections of consequence like the presidential vote. Elections for the Duma and president were becoming normal.58 This new formulation gives considerable powers—including the ratification of several federal appointments that only the Federation Council votes on—to nonelected officials. The most disturbing trend in the 1999–2000 electoral cycle was the continuing rise of the state (and resources friendly or closely tied to the state) as a major player in determining winners and losers. the timetable and basic rules for governing elections did not change dramatically for the Duma. . The result was no transfer of power between different parties or political groups. and regional elections. Over time. Some have speculated that this new formation of the council is an interim step toward Putin’s ultimate goal of abolishing the upper house altogether. anticipated events of the political system. its continued practice is disturbing. Although claiming that fraud actually affected the outcome of either the parliamentary or presidential vote would be difficult. By contrast.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 51 nomination to the Federation Council. and it did so in a disturbing way. In this cycle. fraud still remained as a “normal” feature of elections. The Rising Role of the State In the 1999–2001 electoral cycle. By 1999–2000 elections were no longer ad hoc weapons to be deployed or suspended for immediate political gain. Regrettably.

In the context of major social. Stability in the electoral calendar and electoral procedures has been paralleled by increasing stability in the outcomes of elections. the election to the Russian CPD in 1990. the convocation of elections has often served an immediate political purpose. These are positive developments for Russian democracy. the major stakeholders in Russia’s political and economic system continue to devote major resources to these electoral processes. elections helped to remove or weaken communist incumbents and open political opportunities to noncommunist challengers. The same was true in the Soviet Union and then Russia. In addition. Evidently voters also believe that these elections matter. the number and power of those seeking to change the system by revolutionary means has decreased dramatically. and the constitutional referendum and parliamentary elections in December 1993—were all determined just months before these votes. Concurrently. For those out of power seeking to gain power. political. which suggests that the outcomes of these elections are not predetermined and have consequences. however. They were used and manipulated in the heat of battle over major issues such as the fate of the Soviet Union or the course of economic reform. national elections have become more regular and anticipated events. voter turnout remained solid even in the late 1990s. Nonetheless. conducted in the context of a constitutional system recognized by most and guided by electoral laws approved through a democratic process. and economic upheaval. elections have become the only game in town. They were not simply ways to determine leaders. The function of elections in those early years of revolutionary change. the Russian presidential election in June 1991. the referendum in March 1991. the referendum in April 1993. Since 1993. at least for the elections of greatest consequence. averaging more than 60 percent in national elections. Voter turnout has dropped dramatically since the early years when nearly every eligible voter turned up at the polls. In the last years of the Soviet Union and the first years of independent Russia. The ad hoc nature in which elections occurred or did not occur underscored the political motivations behind them: the dates of the first six national elections in the Soviet Union and then Russia—the election to the Soviet CPD in 1989.52 | Elections Conclusion Elections have not contributed to democratic consolidation in a linear way. In the late Soviet period and early post- . was somewhat different than the function of elections in established democracies.

but this is precisely the state institution that has the least amount of power in the political system. incumbents seeking reelection won 98. however. elections played an instrumental role in undermining entrenched elites and empowering challengers who had never participated in politics before. The rate of victories by incumbents in elections for regional heads of administration has also grown dramatically over time.9 percent of the time.S.60 Parties of power have remained in power for decades in countries typically recognized as liberal democracies. the way in which Russian elites have begun to deploy state resources to stay in power does represent a greater challenge to the democratic process than some of these other examples of incumbent entrenchment in liberal democracies.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 53 Soviet Russia era. The tremendous resources of the state. but then learned how to benefit from these new economic practices over time. twenty-four years after the publication of the Declaration of Independence. For instance. elections later served to consolidate the grip of the ruling elite on political power. if not manipulate. the Soviet political elite has also learned how to use. in the 2002 elections for 435 seats to the U. House of Representatives. Over time. While elections initially helped to open up the political process to new political forces. Just as the Soviet economic elite was first threatened by free prices and privatization. Most important. Analysts of the Russian electoral process should therefore be careful about making generalized statements about the function of elections in Russia based on a single electoral cycle. Parliamentary elections have continued to produce turnover and competition. The first rounds of elections in an independent United States did not produce a turnover in the party of power until 1800. Strangely. particularly new political parties. elections to maintain political power. The reconsolidation of the Soviet elite in Russian political life has effectively crowded out new actors and new political organizations. Before the election fewer than thirty House races were even considered competitive. This said.59 Incumbents in democracies all over the world enjoy tremendous electoral advantages. the most powerful office in the country—the presidency—has not seen a turnover of power. The top performers in both the 1999 parliamentary elections and the 2000 presidential votes were all actors and organizations with clear Soviet era identities. representatives from the Soviet system’s two most important (and some would say most notorious) organizations—the Communist Party and the KGB—captured the lion’s share of all votes cast in the 2000 presidential election. and . the entrenched elites have figured out how to play the electoral game without losing.

complaints about electoral fraud call into question the state’s politicized role in counting the vote. How stable is the institution of democratic elections in Russia? Debate concerning this question has been significant since Putin’s inauguration as president and the development of what many see as a mild version of a quasi-police regime. The removal of gubernatorial candidates in Kursk and Saratov in 2000. in Rostov-on-Don in 2001. along with republican presidential elections with only one candidate in Kalmykiya in 1995 and Kabardino-Balkaria and Tatarstan in 1996. All these disturbing trends reflect the growing role of the state and the declining role of society in determining electoral outcomes. the abolition of elections as a political mechanism seems unlikely. More than a decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Expectations about electoral fraud or postponement were much lower in 1990 or 1991 than they were in 1995 or 1996. while those involved in the business of campaigning have a strong vested interest in retaining elections. the specter of postponement lingered until polling day both before parliamentary elections in 1995 and presidential elections in 1996. Likewise the ouster of an elected president in Mordovia in 1993. Claims of falsification have increasingly blemished the legitimacy of most elections at both the national and regional levels. In polls conducted during the 1999–2000 electoral cycle. Izhevsk and Ryazan in 1996. Ingushetiya in 2002. and the displacement of elected mayors in many others places (the most scandalous cases of which include Vladivostok in 1994. suggest that Russia’s electoral procedures have not improved since the first semifree and quasi-fair elections in 1989. and Nizhny Novgorod in 1998) were all blatant violations of the will of the people. since too many parties are interested in preserving the process.54 | Elections especially its control over the media. the state’s growing role in determining who gets on the ballot and who does not is a disturbing trend. as well as abuses of campaign finance laws and intimidation tactics by local executives. and society still values elections. and in Chechnya in 2003. and Chelyabinsk the same year. the removal of elected governors in Bryansk. Nonetheless. Finally. indicate that competitors in Russian elections do not yet enjoy a free and level playing field. the state’s dominance over society is still overwhelming. The political elite needs elections in their present form to legitimize their rule. give those already in power a tremendous and unfair advantage. Moreover. Blagoveschensk. Indeed. International norms also place pressure on the Russian elite to continue the formal practice of elections. Farcical elections in Chechnya in 1995 and 2003. an overwhelming 86 percent of respondents .

Elections in Russia today have less meaning than they did several years ago. Incumbents will continue to enjoy unfair advantages in the campaign period. In close elections they are also likely to benefit from the control of those state institutions that have demonstrated a capacity to falsify elections.Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov | 55 answered that electing the country’s leaders was important. 86 percent fully agreed or agreed that each citizen has a duty to vote in elections. Elections of limited consequence. however. elections are likely to perform a quasi-democratic function in post-communist Russia. but they have not been completely stripped of meaning and consequence. although the current president’s disdain for any autonomous sources of power may limit the freeness and fairness of parliamentary elections over time. As dictators in Kenya and the former Yugoslavia recently learned. while only 10 percent responded that this was not important. while only 6 percent disagreed or completely disagreed. . When asked about citizens’ responsibilities. are still better than no elections at all. the charade of elections can change unexpectedly into a much more meaningful procedure during periods of crises. Consequently. Elections for less important state institutions will remain more competitive.61 A complete abandonment of elections would not be popular.

3 The Constitution Viktor Sheinis ussia’s 1993 constitution was drafted to work around the constitution R that was already in existence. but also in the West. not only in Russia. However. Unlike many states in transition. It also cautions that any drastic changes in the near future could be harmful to the viability of the constitutional order. 56 . is not surprising. It was approved by means of a referendum whose official results raised serious concerns about falsification. Russia was given a constitution written by the winners of the October 1993 showdown instead of a document approved through consensus. This chapter reviews the political give and take process that produced the constitution and assesses the constitution’s strengths and weakness as well as the reasons behind them. The referendum was conducted during a brief period of suppression of one of the opposition political forces and brought to an end a period of violent conflict between the president and the parliament. Time may show that the constitution will not withstand the influence of those who question its validity. it has demonstrated its survivability in comparison with constitutions other countries adopted during periods of revolutionary upheaval. such as France after 1789 or Russia after 1917. Therefore the continuation of debate about the 1993 constitution in political and academic circles. Moreover. despite its relatively recent confirmation in historical terms. it has turned out to be adequate for the conditions of contemporary political development in Russia.

and economists. but with 102 members. the notorious Article 6 (the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [CPSU] is the country’s “leading and directing force” and the “nucleus of the political system and state and social organizations”). A plenary meeting of the Constitutional Commission was required to approve each version of the draft constitution proposed by the working group. philosophers. Oleg Rumyantsev. Yeltsin formally served as chairman of the commission.1 The First Russian (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic or RSFSR) Congress of People’s Deputies (CPD) set up the Constitutional Commission in June 1990 and charged it with preparing a new constitution. several of the deputies. which by 1990 had already been excluded from the USSR Constitution. the Commission’s executive secretary. an offspring of the 1977 USSR “Brezhnev” Constitution—was the least useful source for a starting point. The commission consisted of representatives from each of Russia’s eighty-eight regions along with fourteen elected deputies mostly from Moscow and Leningrad.2 The acting constitution in 1990—the 1978 RSFSR Constitution. The members of the commission’s working group formed a nucleus that was capable of drafting a new constitution and was relatively homogeneous in terms of its sociopolitical orientation. historians. The composition of the commission replicated the balance of political forces in the Congress. It was on these occasions that numerous disputes immediately arose. a history that is dramatic. its text still contained all the usual Soviet attributes: a pompous and insipid preamble. and additional expert lawyers brought into the working group who were well known for their consistent democratic stance—altogether some 15 to 20 people—carried out the real development of the text of the new constitution. which also included lawyers. This nucleus. Even though it had been somewhat modified at the time of Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika. the commission was too large to carry out the serious work of drafting a complex political and juridical document. The working group presented the first version of the draft constitution on October 12.Viktor Sheinis | 57 The Road to the 1993 Russian Constitution Understanding the achievements and flaws of today’s constitutional system in Russia is impossible without examining the history of the 1993 constitution. the confirmation of state ownership as the . headed the working group. and instructive. 1990. contradictory. political scientists.

bicameral Supreme Soviet whose members were elected from among CPD deputies. the absence of guarantees of basic civil rights. Russia was to be a federation of fifteen to twenty-five regions formed by merging the existing eighty-nine autonomous regions. Perhaps the most notable element of this constitution was Article 104. which for the first time established the supremacy of the constitution and the laws of the RSFSR over the laws of the Soviet Union and was effective over the federation’s entire territory. the draft expressly established Russia as a constitutional. conception. It consisted of a periodically convened CPD (which had exclusive power to change the constitution). krais. and so on. Eventually.068 members were elected through the majoritarian or Westminster system of single-seat districts. The other tier was a continuously sitting. whose 1. The republics were to enjoy equal rights and have equal obligations. . In retrospect. the draft that emerged was distinct in structure. During this time the commission introduced several successive versions of the draft constitution for discussion. The constitution also raised the possibility of federal territories that could become republics after demonstrating their capacity to independently carry out the functions of a republic and participate fully in federal government bodies. quasi parliament as the apex of state power. this was the first legally formulated step toward the fall of the communist regime and the collapse of the Soviet Union. By strengthening the republics’ independence.3 The 1978 constitution had established a two-tier.” This bastion of totalitarian rule held out until the very end. adopted a series of important documents of a constitutional character. Most important. The federal structure was defined by asymmetry between its constituent administrativeterritorial units. federation.58 | The Constitution foundation of the economic system. held in June 1990. which in principle excluded any separation of powers and stated that the Congress was “authorized to review and decide any question. Two problems became the focus of discussion: the federal structure and the organization of the central government. not a treaty-based. According to early versions of the draft. and content from all previous Soviet constitutions. even after a series of amendments to the constitution established the principle of the separation of powers. deputies approved the Declaration of Sovereignty. based on a constitution approved by all its citizens. The First Congress. and oblasts. The work of the Constitutional Commission continued for more than three years throughout the period of Soviet demise.

Zorkin insisted that given Russia’s conditions only a presidential republic could secure the necessary political stability and balance of powers. claiming that “it shares the fate of all halfmeasures and half-versions.6 Beginning in the fall of 1990. whose appointment—but not removal—would be subject to parliamentary approval. and I proposed the second approach.” The fact that the title of the state. and discussion of the draft .” calling for “no constitution of thieves and robbers. the working group’s draft faced many hindrances. but the draft’s opponents had also mobilized. The first approach. The lower house would have the right to confirm the chair’s mandate to form a government. According to this approach. a flood of letters and proposals poured into the commission. This version did not mention the government and placed its functions in the category of presidential powers. The communist daily Sovetskaya Rossiya branded the working group as a “burial team” and the draft constitution as a “hymn to unconsciousness. was inspired by the head of the group of experts. referred to as the government accountable to parliament approach. but also the semipresidential model similar to the French model. and to force its resignation. Valery Zorkin. the president would head the government as well as form and lead the apparatus of the federal executive branch. After the publication of 40 million copies of the draft. It did not have the opportunity to be approved at the Constitutional Commission’s plenum. to confirm its members.Viktor Sheinis | 59 From the beginning. the majority in favor of the draft constitution.4 A convinced proponent of presidentialism. the Constitutional Commission designated two approaches to the structure of the federal government. Zorkin and his supporters eschewed not only the parliamentary. This version did not foresee an office of chair of the government. and was supported by a majority of the deputies who were members of the working group. to take a vote of confidence or no confidence in the government. The chief executive would present “a candidate for the head of government who was approved by groups making up the lower house” to the lower house of parliament. as written in the constitution.”5 Leonid Volkov.7 Under the growing onslaught Boris Yeltsin and his closest advisers flinched. and the differences between these two approaches were so fundamental that the draft versions had to be presented separately. did not contain the words “Soviet” and “socialist” provoked hysteria. It limited the president’s role in the formation and activity of the government. and gave the president the right to nominate ministers. Revol’t Pimenov. labeled the president as head of the executive branch approach.

It also resolved the continuing debate over land ownership through the adoption of a compromise formula: the sale of land was permitted. The working group was subjected to furious attacks. from 1990 to 1993. only to the state. Criticism focused on various aspects of the draft. or with regional elites. and even then. As a result. by the end of 1992 Russia had an eclectic. but only ten years after its purchase. Because the 1978 constitution was completely incapable of dealing with the revolutionary changes that were going on in society. each Congress made attempts to alter it. at least until 1992.8 The draft’s main problem lay not in its compromises with those who supported state administration of the economy and social paternalism.9 . especially in the Supreme Soviet’s Council of Nationalities.60 | The Constitution was removed from the confirmed agenda of the Second RSFSR CPD scheduled for the end of 1990. whose norms were often less precise and politically less progressive than those of the initial versions. and others charged them with violating rights of autonomy. These attempts proceeded. The refashioning of the old constitution occurred as follows. At the Second Congress in December 1990. From late 1990 the constitutional process followed a roundabout path. in order to get the approval of the increasingly vengeful and aggressive CPD. They somewhat smoothed the edges of the revolutionary situation. As experience would soon show. and this moment was lost. a statute on multiple forms of ownership and on equal protection for all forms of ownership was introduced as a replacement for the socialist basis of the economic system. In the eyes of some critics the draft was bourgeois. The draft continued being “finished” for the next Congress and eventually dissipated in the meat-grinder of voting in the Supreme Soviet. compromiseridden text. Some blamed the draft’s authors for breaking up Russia. It changed “citizens’ property” to “personal property” (the majority of the Congress still could not cope with the concept of “private property”). while to others it was socialist. The compromising nature of the draft was a weakness. not a strength. and continuously reworked the draft for three years. The surge toward democracy immediately after the events of August 1991 was the time when a democratic constitution was most likely to pass. Claims that the president had been endowed with the power of an absolute monarch were accompanied by claims that the constitution’s drafters were restoring Soviet power. it lay in its inability to consolidate existing institutions. but were vastly insufficient.

At the same time. A desire to confront the reform communist leadership at the helm of the Union motivated a majority of both democrats and nationalists in the Congress to support these cardinal constitutional changes. Such decrees would come into force if the Supreme Soviet did not reject them within seven days. the president’s powers were somewhat circumscribed. At the Sixth Congress in April 1992. The president insisted on additional powers and received many of them at the Fifth Congress. and even to issue decrees that contradicted the law. A new title for the state was confirmed. including the right to unilaterally reorganize the top executive bodies. The president had the right to introduce legislation (which the Council of Ministers lost) and to veto laws (which the Congress could still override with a simple majority vote). certain vital segments of the infrastructure of a presidential republic that are present in the current constitution were put in place as early as 1991. although this was subject to confirmation by the Supreme Soviet. the remaining ministers. which were guaranteed to serve out their terms. the latter’s gradually increasing antipresidential majority. With the agreement of the Supreme Soviet.Viktor Sheinis | 61 The Fourth Congress in May 1991 changed the constitution to establish the post of president of the RSFSR as the highest office in the land and as head of the executive branch. more precisely. before the August coup attempt. constitutional reforms independent of the work of the constitutional commission continued.12 Guided by the federal treaties that state leaders . These were concepts absent from any Soviet constitution. The president could neither disband the Congress nor the Supreme Soviet.11 Despite the growing tensions. Several clauses regarding the bases of the constitutional system (people’s power. The main focus of all the subsequent sessions of the Congress then became a tug of war between the president and the deputies or. to nominate the heads of regional governments.10 As a result. the president could now nominate the chair of the Council of Ministers and. extensive further changes were introduced to the constitution. without its agreement. nor could the president change the state’s territorial-administrative structure. and separation of powers) and human rights and freedoms were borrowed from the Constitutional Commission’s working draft. The president was also to lead the government and gained the power to declare a state of emergency. federalism. doing away with terms such as Soviet and socialist. The constitution included a procedure for impeaching the president. republican form of rule.

“The majority of deputies preferred to cling to the old text since the adoption of a new Constitution would entail the dissolution of Congress and the end of their deputy mandates. who had been removed from the post of chairman of the Supreme Soviet’s Council of the Republic after the August 1991 putsch and later became one of the leaders of the National Salvation Front. The politically irresponsible majority that had coalesced by 1993 was more comfortable with the patchwork quilt that the 1978 Soviet era constitution had become. Open conflict between Yeltsin and the Congress majority erupted at the Seventh Congress in December 1992. The Supreme Soviet formed the new Committee for Constitutional Legislation under the chairmanship of Vladimir Isakov.”13 The republics were guaranteed increased representation in federal government bodies. the Congress’s stance was stronger. Congress also proposed setting up an upper chamber of parliament with imbalanced representation in favor of the autonomous republics. Murrel. three-tier federal structure. From the point of view of formal juridical norms. resulting in the reversal of the compromises made earlier. In 1993 a deep constitutional crisis ensued. its action were clearly not guided by high-minded legal considerations. The committee prepared a set of constitutional amendments intended to turn the president into a figurehead. D. would . which in turn made the Congress increasingly aggressive.15 Had these amendments been passed.” noted British scholar G. but by a desire to seize power from the hands of hated pro-Yeltsin forces. Yeltsin undertook a series of attempts to remove the Congress from the political arena. and the Congress acted with more refinement. to negate the results of the referenda of 1991 and 1993. executive power would have become concentrated in the hands of the government. in turn. At the top were the republics or “states possessing on their territory the entire panoply of state power. Thus both sides relied on the document to justify or condemn any action. the Congress also founded a new. and to reverse the reforms and the constitutional process itself. However. In response. The constitution was speckled with a multitude of amendments while at the same time it preserved many of the anachronisms that contradicted them. awkward. and both sides could no longer be contained within the existing constitutional framework. and the government.14 The Congress and its majority were completely satisfied with a situation in which an amendment appeared in the morning and became part of the constitution by noon. G.62 | The Constitution signed with regional leaders in March 1992. Thus the Congress did not hurry to approve any versions of the constitution.

and the 1993 Constitution Launching the game preemptively. the draft was no better than that of the Constitutional Commission. banned internal customs between regions. and the working group’s draft. The Presidential Draft. it contained its own serious defects. presenting clear decisions on a series of disputed issues. This entity was subdivided into five groups that were to include representatives from federal government bodies. A new draft of the constitution had to deal with both the old. religious organizations. the Constitutional Assembly.16 This was a significant move. political parties. and the Constitutional Commission. the president disavowed the draft that the commission’s working group had prepared and the Congress’s conservative majority had amended. broken constitution. manufacturers. and was given to a newly established institution: the Constitutional Assembly. and produced a new draft. While it corrected some of the latter’s flaws and unnecessary compromises. however.Viktor Sheinis | 63 have been completely dependent on the Supreme Soviet. 1993. the president presented the new draft constitution immediately after his victory in the referendum. regional government bodies. and entrepreneurs. The assembly’s draft was prepared by a group of well-known lawyers and published in the newspaper Izvestiya in the president’s name on April 30. This “presidential” draft was distinguished by a series of positive changes. Overall. As the chairman of the Constitutional Commission.17 The entire process was diverted from the Congress. including members of the Constitutional Commission. . A successive series of decrees and executive orders established a new procedure for drafting the constitution. and clearly delimited the roles of the two houses of parliament. the Supreme Soviet. It established private ownership of land. Anatoly Sobchak and I were ordered to coordinate the work of the group that included representatives of political parties and social organizations. which still remained as the country’s basic law. and local administrations. The latter was in much worse form than its original version and had little chance of being approved by the obsolete quasi parliament. An open skirmish neared that both sides wanted and encouraged. trade unions and other public organizations. Its formulations were shorter and legally precise.

which the draft did not even mention. the full text of the treaties that delimited the powers and competencies . held votes of confidence or no confidence in the government. could only have been introduced for parliamentary review by the president or the government. and the Arbitration Court) and three persons appointed by the president. loans. but would play no role in the appointment or removal of the chair and auditors of either the Accounting Chamber or the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office. a notion introduced by the Constitutional Assembly. the draft created a kind of judicial monster—a superstructure on top of the entire judicial system—that was to contain the leaders of the three highest courts (the Constitutional Court. The president’s decrees and executive orders would not have been required to conform to the constitution or to law. The parliament as a whole would have become somewhat powerless because not only the state budget. autonomous oblasts. the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Commission also gave in to regional elites. 1993. This suggestion was the result of an aggressive onslaught by the representatives of the national-territorial autonomous regions that the CPD had also been subjected to. The Federation Council would have appointed the premier upon nomination by the president. the April 30 draft would have given colossal power to the president. but also all draft legislation regarding taxes. because of the pressure exerted by regional forces noted earlier. the State Duma and the Federation Council would have participated in the appointment of the chair of the state bank. This would have included the power to disband both houses of parliament on the basis of such hazy formulations as “when a crisis of state power cannot be resolved on the basis of procedures established by the Constitution. the overwhelming share of the limited power that the draft gave to parliament would have been concentrated in the upper house. By contrast. therefore only half of the Federation Council’s members would have represented the remaining 86 percent of the population. and determined the government’s members. Finally. In addition. the Federation Council.”18 although these formulations excluded disagreement over the appointment of the premier and the government. Constitutional Assembly draft had become a law. having incorporated the federal treaties with their appendixes into its final draft. and the state’s financial obligations.64 | The Constitution If the April 30. According to the April 30 draft. in which only 14 percent of the population lived. Half of the seats in the Federation Council would have been taken by representatives of the republics. and autonomous okrugs.

Approval of this text occurred outside the assembly’s formal framework. the work of the Constitutional Assembly dragged on. The assembly initially made a constructive decision to base its work on both the president’s April 30 draft and the draft presented by the Constitutional Commission. Some Constitutional Assembly members also presented a draft of a new election law that introduced a mixed majoritarian-proportional representation system for parliamentary elections. Assessing the 1993 Russian Constitution American and Russian scholars such as Peter Reddaway and Dmitri Glinski categorically conclude that the 1993 Russian Constitution is a “partisan constitution” that “remains a major stumbling block to national reconciliation and democratic development. a memorandum on the republics as sovereign states appeared. however. By the summer of 1993. single-seat electoral district system was absent in the original draft of the constitution. In particular. a topic omitted from the April 30 draft. This opened the way for the current electoral system. It was these events that produced the December 1993 constitution and Russia’s super-presidential system.19 The Constitutional Assembly played a positive role by removing or diluting certain aforementioned defects of the previous drafts. which has facilitated the establishment of political parties.”21 Despite being a critic of both the . Yeltsin’s forceful victory over the Congress in the autumn of 1993 created a new balance of political forces in Moscow. in Orwellian fashion. it created a detailed section on citizens’ human rights and freedoms. Thus this constitution set up a three-tiered federal state structure: a hierarchy in which. under pressure from the Council of the Republics in which the heads of republics exerted inordinate influence. but the concept of conducting elections to the Duma through a majoritarian.20 Initially the assembly was to submit its draft to the Constitutional Commission and the Supreme Soviet in mid-July. some subjects of the federation would be designated as more equal than others. one that was entirely in the president’s favor.Viktor Sheinis | 65 of the federation’s regions was squeezed into the body of this constitution even though this violated all the canons of constitutional law-making. Its interim draft was confirmed in mid-July and finalized only after the events of September and October 1993.

66 | The Constitution process of adoption of this constitution and its content. Furthermore. Critics of the Russian Constitution claim that its many appealing principles remain entirely declarative. and the outcome may perhaps be considered as the best possible outcome under the circumstances. The last issue is the most important. what resulted was far from the worst possible scenario. American researcher Thomas Remington notes [T]hree…weaknesses in the capacity of the law and legal institutions to restrain the arbitrary exercise of power by the state: the extralegal powers of the successor bodies to the KGB. especially the legislatures. exert much less influence over government policies and budgets than do executive and administrative bodies…The Russian courts remain backward and cannot offer individuals reliable protection against the arbitrary . willingly or unwillingly. All Soviet constitutions placed the state in the center of constitutional order. As the years have passed it has become clear that the adoption of the constitution diverted the danger of a civil war and prevented a scenario similar to what happened in the former Yugoslavia. prohibited the incitement of social hostility. and private ownership. including the following: Governmental decision making is often closed to the public…Representative institutions in Russia. democracy. Chapters 1 and 2 of the 1993 constitution—“The Fundamentals of the Constitutional System” and “Rights and Liberties of Man and Citizen”—are on the level of modern democratic standards. the constitution created a set of rules that all the main actors have followed. but superior in others. political and ideological pluralism. whereas the main framework in the new Russia is anthropocentric. inferior in some cases. and established the priority of citizens’ civil and political rights over the interests of the state. and the inclination of the president to wield his decree power in order to circumvent constitutional limits on executive powers. The constitution has established separation of powers. as a participant in the events I nevertheless believe that considering the situation in 1993.22 Other commentators define eleven illiberal features of Russian democracy. the prevalence of sub-legal administrative rules and regulations issued by executive bodies. including that of land.

traditions. Reddaway and Glinski. Is the government system created by the Russian Constitution what makes many of the constitution’s proclaimed civil rights fictitious (as did all Soviet constitutions) or pernicious? Or do the roots of the problems of Russia’s democratic transformation lie primarily in long-established social conventions and the age-old Russian tradition of living by unwritten rules rather than by laws? The question is not an academic one. If the latter holds true. The Separation of Powers and Jurisdictions at the Federal Level A main argument of the constitution’s critics. documents of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation repeatedly refer to “the anti-popular constitution of presidential absolutism” and the “parliament without power. Nevertheless. and value systems. the constitution needs a complete overhaul.23 Most experts would agree with Remington’s assessment. customs. then Russia will have to address a much more difficult challenge. maintain that “Yeltsin’s and Putin’s presidential powers have exceeded those of . (2) the concept of federalism. Lawyers have long scrutinized the problem of book law versus street law. the organization and functioning of power in modern Russia can be separated into four clusters as follows: (1) the separation of powers and jurisdictions at the federal level. (3) the organization of local self-government. the question that remains unanswered is to what degree are these distortions of democracy a product of the constitution and its defects or are they from other sources? Contradictions between formal and real constitutions are not new and do not only appear in Russia. Comparing Russia with other Eastern European countries on the subject of constitutional law. To understand how the constitution works (or fails to work) in real life. and (4) the judiciary.”25 A number of Russian and Western scholars share this assessment.”24 No constitution exists solely by itself. political specialist George Urban quotes Aristotle: “Constitutions are worthless unless they are grounded in the customs and conventions of the people. is that the constitution establishes a super-presidential political system. If the former is true. political and general culture.Viktor Sheinis | 67 acts of governments…Corruption is widespread within governmental agencies. for example. For example. especially the opposition. It functions in a complex context of a nation’s mentality.

however. A justified criticism points to the disproportionate role in the Russian system of numerous advisers. In the United States. including nongovernmental institutions. we can call the Russian system ‘presidential-parliamentary. The United States has a number of influential but noninstitutionalized political posts that are filled through . must serve as guarantor of the constitutional system. but from the fact that there are virtually no working limitations on presidential power or on the power of officials appointed by the president. personal presidential representatives. Accordingly. such as the Presidential Administration. In Russia.”29 However.”28 This is a dangerous stipulation. the constitution—leaving aside the question of everyday practice—assigns an independent role for the government as well as appropriate powers for the administration. just as on all others. and institutions created at the president’s will. because it is open to vast variations in interpretation. and approximate the powers of Tsar Nicolas II under the 1905 quasi-constitutional system. However. this power imbalance is not the constitution’s fault. Democratic experience around the world shows conclusively that the entire system of checks and balances. we need to distinguish between the formal and real constitutions.”26 Remington provides a more balanced assessment: “Using a typology proposed by political scientists Matthew Shugart and John Carey.68 | The Constitution American and French presidencies combined. the Security Council. the tools the constitution gives to the president to implement such functions are not excessive in comparison with other presidential and semipresidential democracies. the structure of governance as set out by the law deserves to be called insufficiently parliamentary rather than super-presidential. The excesses of presidential rule under Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin derive not only from the excessive powers the current constitution gives the president. Clearly the president should not be the only “guarantor of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. the president should not have exclusive power to “define the basic domestic and foreign policy guidelines of the state” and to “endorse the military doctrine. The powers vested in the president by the constitution break the balance of the separation of powers. and the Defense Council (created to serve obscure staffing purposes and then forgotten). consultants. In my opinion. Based on this article.’”27 On this issue. the Constitutional Court refused to find unconstitutional the December 1994 presidential decree that started a wide-scale war in Chechnya without the declaration of a state of emergency and without parliamentary sanction. the administration is an extension of the president.

dissolution of the State Duma is limited by a strict time frame and a number of conditions. presidential aid Henry Kissinger was a more important person than the secretary of state before he himself took the office. The real weakness of the parliament is its lack of oversight authority. For example. approving the federal budget. However. In Russia. the Duma has no power to call on government officials to show up at parliamentary hearings or to secure the documents from executive officials needed to make independent inquiries into the executive branch’s activities. Another flaw of the constitutional system is the formation of the Federation Council.30 As a rule.31 Presidential participation in the legislative process and the president’s veto power are not Russian inventions. but on their political calculations that new elections may give their party an electoral advantage. In 1993 the population elected its members. but it has also blocked populist gambits and dangerous initiatives of the Duma majority. The Duma has similarly proven ineffectual in its efforts to amend the constitution. in Russia’s short constitutional history the presidential veto has blocked rational parliamentary initiatives. This procedure is not restricted by additional measures. presidents or prime ministers of those states whose parliaments are entitled to bring down governments through votes of no confidence may in turn dissolve parliament. especially in the field of foreign policy.Viktor Sheinis | 69 presidential choice rather than through constitutional imperative. the Duma may even respond by implementing impeachment procedures. Similarly. As a member of the parliamentary commission investigating the Chechen war. Harry Hopkins did a great deal to help Franklin Roosevelt overcome Congress’s stubborn isolationism before World War II. but the night before the publication of the constitution. a presidential aide amended the draft to include one representative from the legislative branch per one rep- . Should the president want to exercise pressure by threatening to dissolve the parliament. For example. British prime ministers can call for new parliamentary elections not only on the basis of a no confidence vote. It does have certain control functions: approving the president’s nominee for prime minister. I witnessed how a number of high-ranking state officials simply ignored Duma requests to testify at hearings. and monitoring the use of expenditure funds through the Auditing Chamber. As elsewhere.32 The real problem here is that the presidential veto can only be overridden by an extraordinary two-thirds majority vote in both the lower and upper houses. only once passing an amendment at a first reading and never getting to a second.

but to be appointed by each region’s executive and legislative branches. became a pliable object of manipulation for both federal and regional authorities. This reorganization of the Federal Council raises the following question: If the authority of the chamber is diminished. and to curtail the use of administrative resources.70 | The Constitution resentative from each member region’s state executive branch in the Federation Council. Initially. becoming ex officio members of the Federation Council by virtue of their regional offices. though at least these officials had once been elected to their offices. Thus the problem of strengthening the legislative branch is not so much one of correcting the constitution. would take advantage of this authority. a real monster was born in 2000–2001. as it is one of building a strong civil society able to oppose the regime of “managed democracy” and establishing a genuine political party system. The Kremlin demonstrated once again that it could punish the opposition by changing . currently filled with unelected bureaucrats. there are no guarantees that the parliament. advisory assembly of republican presidents and governors established in the wake of the Federation Council’s reorganization as compensation for the loss of their seats in the Federation Council? Unfortunately. an informal. analysis of the formal constitution and of other laws does not provide foolproof solutions to these problems. Election laws should be improved and properly enforced to put an end to fraud. but a matter of choice for the political elite. In March 2002. should this institution be abolished altogether and replaced by the new State Council. regional governors and legislative chairs replaced the elected senators on the basis of this clause. This requires cultivating a middle class and rewriting numerous laws. the committees in the State Duma were redistributed among the factions. While oversight functions should be returned to the parliament.33 This formulation makes popular election of senators not an obligation. not supported by the voters’ mandate. dominated as it is now by the pro-Kremlin centrist bloc of factions led by Unity. The Federation Council. However. Members of the Federation Council. should it not be deprived of some of its powers under the constitution?34 Alternatively. when Putin decided that the upper chamber of the highest representative body of state power in each region was no longer to be elected. should be replaced by a council composed of senators elected directly by citizens to prevent its manipulation by the Kremlin. Duma and Federation Council rules need to be rewritten to forestall backroom deals. violations of campaign law. Thus this clause sharply limits the construction of a powerful senate.

35 The constitutions enacted in a number of republics deepened the asymmetric structure of the federation. Even a superficial comparison of federal and regional laws made by the Office of the Prosecutor General in 2000–2001 disclosed thousands of contradictions and differences. the agreements on the distribution of power that were signed in the early 1990s between the central government and some regional governments are an exotic feature of Russia’s constitutional and federal system. the degree of asymmetry and autonomy some regions enjoy is . These deficiencies underlie much of the maneuvering and bargaining that bedevils the economic and political relations between the center and regions. much work remains to be done below the level of the constitution. Yet these agreements gave some subjects authority that was not supposed to be granted to them under the constitution. both acts were political scandals that could have been avoided by clear rules providing for a more representative distribution of committee chairmanships. the division of powers between the center and the regions is vaguely defined. As the English diplomat Martin Nicholson states: [T]he constitutional basis of post-Soviet Russia evolved as a series of compromises reached amid continuous political crisis. the new distribution is more just because it upholds the rights of factions that were violated in the 2000 collusion between the party of power and the communists. First. Article 5 of the constitution declares at the same time that all subjects of the federation are equal in rights and that only the republics can have their own constitution. Moreover. primarily between the federal constitution and the republics’ constitutions. In theory. Federalism Russian federalism is a controversial issue. In sum. During the period of institutional decay after the collapse of the Soviet regime and state. Second. In short. a large portion of federal-regional relations is regulated simultaneously by federal laws and other legal acts and by regional laws. the country’s asymmetrical structure is unstable because it perpetuates the distortions of the Soviet system. and as a result contains two underlying weaknesses. but in reality. Indeed. these agreements played a stabilizing role.Viktor Sheinis | 71 the inner configuration of the parliament.

the federal constitution considers the rights of nations to be equivalent to human rights. Buryatia.37 Bashkortostan.36 Putin said that in 2000. Aside from Chechnya. Tatarstan has the greatest sovereignty among the republics. Tuva. and Kalmykia. When Putin became president. and at least formally. Yakutia’s president gave up his . Tatarstan’s president. Kabardino-Balkaria.72 | The Constitution characteristic of an asymmetric. In Adygei. It positioned Tatarstan as a sovereign state “associated” with Russia on an inter-state basis. contradictory laws create bizarre legal collisions and unnecessary political conflicts. Such a conflict occurred in 2001 on the subject of a third term for Yakutia’s president. Komi. For several months the entire republic was kept under pressure before an agreement was finally reached behind the scenes. Such an approach is dangerous. before the adoption of the federal constitution. Russia has almost no mono-ethnic territories. Federal authorities referred to the absence of allowance for a third presidential term in Yakutia’s constitution. Meanwhile. treaty-based federation with strong elements of a confederation. were forced to prepare new constitutions and to amend laws that the courts found were in violation of federal norms. constitutions allow the regional governments to introduce a state of emergency. thus the constitution defined the republic not as subject to Russian law. but did not eliminate. In 1992. Its authors believed that after the collapse of the USSR. Certainly. the lack of conformity between regional constitutions and laws and the federal constitution and laws became an important issue. about 20 percent of local legal acts contradicted the constitution and federal laws. especially the national republics. and Yakutia give local constitutions supremacy over the federal constitution. A 1994 agreement on the delegation of authority and separate jurisdictions reduced. the Russian Federation would follow. Bashkortostan and Komi provide special privileges for representatives of the main ethnic groups. Tatarstan and other regions. but as subject to international law. while the local political clan pointed to a federal law that seemed to allow it. the place of Tatarstan in Russian governance became defined by informal relations between Yeltsin and Mintimer Shaimiyev.38 What will result from this process is as yet unknown. the contradictions between the two constitutions. Ingushetia. the regional constitution tried to distinguish Tatarstan from Russia on the basis of ethnicity rather than solely on the basis of territoriality. In addition. Tatarstan adopted one of its own.

Local self-government has been hampered in three ways: by a lack of material and financial resources in the face of large responsibilities. Federal laws have been amended to restrict the immunity of governors (but not of presidents of republics). In 2000–2001 the Law on Local Self-government was amended. By February 2002. and by low prestige. unable to use legislative measures to discipline regional bosses with many ties in their regions and in the central government. where local self-government was gaining momentum before 1917. Low turnout figures for local elections often lead to the invalidation of elections. shortcircuiting ineffective legislative procedures.Viktor Sheinis | 73 aspirations for a third term and received a seat on the Federation Council as compensation. yet in this respect Russia is behind even prerevolutionary Russia. one of the fundamental principles of the constitution—the election of executive and legislative authorities—will be violated. Eminent politicians then began to recommend the appointment rather than the election of local governors. This is a dangerous change. This is a positive process. Should this happen. The idea of local legislatures exists in the constitution: local self-governments are autonomous within their jurisdictions and do not form part of the system of government organs.39 The equality of the federation’s subjects will be damaged as well. Governors are now entitled to fire heads of municipalities. . intervened in 2000 with a sort of work-around. whose development is at best in an embryonic state.40 Local Self-Government The situation is even worse with local self-government. regional laws began to be brought into conformity with federal legislation. by pressure from state bodies. In fall 2000. They created seven macroregions or federal districts headed by seven governor generals appointed by the president. This principle is beyond reproach and should be left untouched. local self-government is just another branch of the bureaucracy. Local selfgovernment is one of the most important institutions in democratic countries. because some subjects will be represented by appointed governors and others by elected presidents. In the eyes of the populace. They built executive power structures on top of or alongside regional ones. nine out of forty-two existing agreements with subjects of the Russian Federation had been canceled and ten more were prepared for cancellation. Yet federal authorities.

Sergei Alekseev. in its opinion. The Baltic republics refused to send representatives to the KKN from the outset. The republics. The operation of analogous committees in the autonomous republics. On the positive side. more precisely. having declared . The KKN also made the publication of all legal acts concerning citizens’ rights and freedoms obligatory. Out of approximately thirty decisions the KKN adopted during its existence. The Judiciary Understanding the basis of the Russian constitutional system and the role of the constitution is impossible without considering the Constitutional Court. begins with the USSR Constitutional Oversight Committee (KKN). The republics simply ignored its decisions about the conformance of republican legal acts with Union law. stipulated by the Union law on the KKN.74 | The Constitution because the vertical power structure that is so attractive to many politicians undermines the constitutional principle of local government autonomy. the KKN played a minimal role in the critical conflict between the Union and republican authorities during perestroika. the prehistory of Russian constitutional jurisprudence in the present era. It could make recommendations only to government bodies that had. it was simply forgotten. issued anticonstitutional acts. elected at the December 1989 and April 1990 USSR CPDs. The history or. In December 1991. and after August 1991 other republics recalled their representatives. During the August 1991 putsch. and four other members. was never implemented. when Union state bodies lost authority. Moreover. the most significant focused on the defense of rights. Putin has ordered a reform of local self-government that attempts to increase the powers and financial resources at this level of government. including recognition of the unconstitutionality of the internal residence registration and passport system and of coercive commitment to substance abuse clinics. Formally. and an appeal about the failure to observe required legislative norms in the removal of Mikhail Gorbachev from office was issued only by the chairman. only decisions about human and citizens’ rights were final and not subject to appeal. the USSR KKN was never dissolved. However. The creation of an independent court whose decisions are binding and cannot be appealed was one of the major accomplishments of Russia’s new constitutionalists. was not a full fledged court. the KKN could not gather a quorum. The KKN.

such as the supremacy of the constitution over laws that contradict it. was elected its chairman. created their own constitutional courts without referring to Union law and the experience of the KKN. The Constitutional Court has made decisions to protect legal principles.41 Deputies’ groups and Supreme Soviet committees put forward candidates for the Constitutional Court.Viktor Sheinis | 75 their sovereignty and then their independence. helping them to arrive at a compromise supported by the Congressional resolution On the Stabilization of the Constitutional Order in the Russian Federation. the court’s antipresidential mindset would have become overwhelming. 1993. and thirteen of the fifteen required judges were elected to the court at the same Fifth Congress in October. The RSFSR CPD adopted the Law on the RSFSR Constitutional Court in July 1991. The nominees of nine deputies’ groups and several committees on human rights and freedom of conscience were elected. The termination of its activity by decree confirmed that it had been turned into a political weapon and presented a threat to the state. The Russian Constitutional Court was introduced into the system of government through amendments to the RSFSR Constitution. 1993. At several junctures. Yeltsin’s Decree Number 1607 terminated the court’s activity until the adoption of a new constitution. After the events of October 3–4. adopted by the Fifth RSFSR CPD in December 1991. Two court findings on March 30. During this period the political situation was defined by a destructive struggle between Yeltsin and the people’s deputies. Because the Constitutional Court’s decisions had seriously influenced the balance of power among the conflicting sides. Chairman Zorkin took political initiatives to resolve particularly sharp collisions. One of the points of the agreement dealt with the court. With the election of these two judges. professor of juridical correspondence at the school of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and leader of the Constitutional Commission’s groups of experts. The court’s first decision was issued in January 1992 and concerned Yeltsin’s decree on the creation of a unified Ministry of Security and Internal Affairs. and . It ruled that the president had exceeded his authority and struck down the decree as unconstitutional. it was embroiled at the center of this conflict. The court’s role in the 1992–1993 confrontation between the executive and legislative branches is ambiguous. During the Seventh Congress in December 1992 Zorkin acted as a mediator between the president and the Congress deputies. At the court’s first session Valery Zorkin. The deputies agreed to the president’s proposal not to elect judges to the two remaining seats on the court until the adoption of a new constitution.

the court’s partial satisfaction of inquiries doubting the decisions of the Congress and Supreme Soviet was more common than that of inquiries opposed to the president’s acts. As a result. During this pivotal period the following themes occupied a relatively less significant place in the court’s activity: appeals by citizens and labor collectives disputing old norms in USSR and RSFSR law or recent government . 1993. Half of the court’s decisions dealt with the constitutional confrontation and almost all found violations of constitutional norms and repealed the disputed documents. An example of a carefully balanced decision regarding an acutely polarized issue was the court’s conclusion about the rules for determining the results of the April 1993 referendum. however. the court left in force the Congress’s requirement of a majority of registered voters for the answer to be considered positive. Both were adopted immediately after the president’s televised declarations to the people. confirm the impression that the court clearly opposed the president in this conflict. At the same time. The inquiries were made by groups of people’s deputies from various factions supporting one side or the other in the conflict. A review of all twenty-seven resolutions the Constitutional Court adopted during this period of constitutional crisis in 1993 gives no basis for concluding that the court harbored antipresidential inclinations.42 the court’s findings gave the Supreme Soviet a basis for declaring that Yeltsin was no longer in power and electing an alternative acting president. when the Plotnikov amendment had already been written into the constitution. without an appeal from one of the conflicting parties or a third party—a possibility permitted by a 1991 law.” a simple majority of votes would be sufficient for a positive answer in support of the pro-presidential side. Both the March and October findings were adopted upon the court’s own initiative—that is. The court found the president’s actions to be unconstitutional. Note. that neither the president nor the leadership of the Supreme Soviet turned to the Constitutional Court for decisions on these questions. a dual power structure began to emerge. when he suggested resolving the prolonged conflict by referendum and limiting the activity of the people’s deputies. In September 1993. the court decided that because of the referendum’s “opinion inquiry character” and lack of “juridical consequences.76 | The Constitution October 21. made four days before the referendum. Regarding the third and fourth questions about mid-term elections of the president and the people’s deputies. Regarding the first two referendum questions about trust in the president and his socioeconomic policies.

but must wait for a request or complaint from people who believe their rights have been violated. The authors of the inquiries were groups of people’s deputies. adopted in November 1992. The court is also limited by having only nineteen justices and by its heavy workload. even the decisions of the Constitutional Court are sometimes guided by actual practice as opposed to the formal constitution. Yet separating judicial disputes simultaneously by type and administrative level is quite difficult. To begin with. An outstanding example of this was the 1995 ruling that struck down a challenge to Yeltsin’s right to start the war in Chechnya without the constitutionally required approval of the Federation Council. in many respects replicated the conflict between the president and the deputies at the center. This is partially due to limitations imposed on it by the constitution. The CPSU case. but also decrees the regions adopted on the basis of decisions by the president and the Supreme Soviet. but more important.43 The legislature imposed this limitation in response to the Constitutional Court’s intervention in the 1993 constitutional crisis between Yeltsin and the executive branch on the one hand. On average. The court ruled that the decision to disband the CPSU’s quasi-state structures was essentially constitutional. occupied a special place. in one case allies of the mayor and the president.Viktor Sheinis | 77 decisions (seven resolutions). but it handed over decisions regarding the disbanding of primary party organizations in places of residence and disputes about the party’s property to courts of general jurisdiction. in the other their opponents. the court takes six to eight months to resolve a complaint. the review of which stretched out for about six months. the court doesn’t adjudicate on its own initiative. and the Russian legislature and the CPD on the other. Thus the Constitutional Court reviewed not only normative regional acts. the work of the Constitutional Court is disappointing despite the court’s vital role during the early period of Russian democratization and its often balanced approach to decision making. This was . and political and legal debates in the center and the regions intersected closely with each other. for example. The decision. Conflicts between government bodies of the Republic of Mordovia and Chelyabinsk Oblast. Two Constitutional Court decisions were devoted to Moscow’s conflict between the city council and the mayor. In general. disputes between Russian federal and regional authorities (four decisions). and in both cases the issues to be adjudicated were related to decisions by Russian federal authorities. turned out to be a balanced compromise. and internal regional conflicts (four decisions).

Both the legislative and executive authorities are experienced in bypassing. the Pacific Fleet Military Court condemned and sentenced military journalist Grigory Pasko on the basis of obscure. Finally. and the law. We consider that the legislation aims to lower the most important guarantees of the independence and immunity of judges and their legal protection. According to Yuri Sidorenko. and we believe that its adoption can lead to a loss of independence of the third branch of power…Thanks to the new legislation. can now serve for two successive terms. For example. the courts have been unable to challenge the widespread use of torture by police during investigations. the Nizhny Novgorod Court ruled that local authorities had breached the law by allowing young people to participate in alternative military service. Against all expectations. the judicial legislation of 2000–2002 is restricted and contradictory. real opportunities have emerged for the firing of judges and the application of various other measures of punishment for purely formal . disciplinary measures have been restored. First. each judge now has to serve for three years before getting tenure. including the removal of judges by decision of the qualification collegium. the courts are subordinate to executive power and often obey orders received directly from the executive. or simply ignoring. secret instructions by the Ministry of Defense ruled nonbinding by the Supreme Court.78 | The Constitution perhaps the court’s darkest hour. no implementation mechanism exists to enforce decisions. Second. appointed for six-year terms. In addition. Some of the decisions actually decrease the independence of the judiciary. the driving motivation behind this and similar decisions was to return to the time when fear limited Russian citizens’ contacts with foreigners. For the secret services. chairman of the Council of Judges of the Russian Federation: [T]he position of the Supreme Court is simple and unanimous. The courts may also act to protect the military’s interests. courts became the main tool in the unlawful suppression of independent media in 2001–2002 and are used to stage intelligence operations against scholars and journalists. the general and arbitrage courts are perhaps plagued by even more deficiencies. In comparison with the Constitutional Court. it has not been operationalized by a federal law. Third. the court’s decisions. common sense. Through many formal and informal links. Pasko remained in prison until January 2003. While this possibility is established by the constitution. For example. destabilizing the law-based state. Moreover. chairs of the courts and their deputies.

“The issue of the introduction of various amendments in Russia’s constitution is now widely discussed…In your opinion. and 24 percent were undecided. in January 2001. Both supporters and opponents of changing the constitution have backing in society.44 Moreover. They remember well the time when decisions were made after a call from party officials. which was alien to rule-of-law thinking. Enforcement is lax. should the constitution be reconsidered and amendments introduced into it or not?” Of the respondents. only 8 percent were opposed. Soviet-style system in effect in the great majority of the general jurisdiction courts. because the bailiff system is just getting on its feet. still come from the Soviet education system. the procuracy and other law enforcement organs have successfully delayed the establishment of judicial institutions dictated by the constitution. the Public Opinion Foundation obtained different survey results in December 2001. such as jury trials and court-sanctioned arrest. Problems in Amending the Constitution The constitution and other legislation have many weak points that should be eliminated. and the procedure for charging judges with criminal responsibility is being simplified. the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research. court decisions should be given more weight. or secretaries of courts with great experience in falsifying legal documents. 35.8 percent of the population supports changing the constitution and 43. Participants were asked the question. Consequently. some judges are former prosecutors. Moreover. The questions are when and how this should be done. 67 percent answered that amendments should be made. and even now their careers and welfare depend largely on the benevolence of highranking officials.4 percent accepts leaving it as it is now. two jurisdictions exist side by side: a neo-inquisitional. The same question has been asked each . According to an opinion survey conducted by a reputable Russian polling and research center.Viktor Sheinis | 79 reasons.45 However. creating powerful levers for pressuring [judges]. Finally. Most judges. the main actors in the judicial process. The courts also need more staff and resources to boost their effectiveness and prestige. militia staff members. and a plaintiff-oriented system that functions only in the few courts based on a jury system.

a window of opportunity would have permitted the introduction of changes to certain articles of the constitution with the help of several political groups. Law and order could have been strengthened without weakening the main achievements of the anticommunist revolution of the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1996–1998. and 9) concerning the bases of the constitutional regime. The vast majority of citizens have only a vague idea of the constitution’s content. In the Public Opinion Foundation survey. 55 percent answered that they did not. However. Yabloko holds that the “external” chapters (chapters 1. 47 percent with the latter. 2. removing the amendment that does not require the election of senators to the Federation Council (though in my opinion. only 36 percent answered that they did. Indeed. following Primakov’s ouster as prime minister. expanding the parliament’s powers (especially its oversight power). rights and liberties. has been that the 1993 constitution needs a few corrections. “How do you grade our constitution as a whole? Is it. during Yevgeny Primakov’s term as prime minister opportunities existed to change the constitution with the help of the parliamentary majority. and 9 percent could not answer. and including a detailed description of the presidential impeachment process. and 12 percent could not answer. and the share of opponents to amending the constitution oscillated from 15 percent in 1997 to 17 percent in 1998. this amendment could be made without changing the constitution). not to society as a whole. and conditions for changing the constitution require no changes. 38 percent answered that it was bad. and 34 percent could not answer either way. in your opinion. The passage of such amendments was not certain. 11 percent in 1999.80 | The Constitution year starting in early 1997. good or bad?” In response 28 percent answered that the constitution was good. not de jure. Another question was. and 16 percent in 2000. but that some corrections have to be made to the clauses regarding the political system. specifying the government’s relationship with the president and the parliament. stated publicly numerous times. but could have succeeded if carried out correctly. 41 percent agreed with the former position. Yabloko prepared several amendments clarifying the rights of the president. the situa- . but de facto. The position of the Yabloko faction.47 In the late 1990s. when respondents were asked if they knew the basic content and clauses of the constitution.46 Thus constitutional change seems to be of interest to elite groups. Asked whether they concurred with the view that the constitution defines life in Russian society or whether it is a purely formal document that does not define Russian life.

the introduction of ideological unification for the sake of the so-called “national idea”. In late 2001. Precursors to such changes have been evident.Viktor Sheinis | 81 tion has changed. the weakening of the separation of church and state to the benefit of the Russian Orthodox Church. Although the president rejected the idea. and Buddhist faiths. and the weakening of the constitution’s ninth section. The convention can then either approve its changes or call a referendum to do so. see the current constitution as an obstacle to backsliding from democracy to authoritarianism. the strengthening of the state and an increase in the prerogatives of quasi-civil structures created by means of guarantees. Sergei Mironov. proposed extending the presidential term of office from four to seven years. any attempt to amend the constitution is likely to fail unless the president introduces it. and the danger of managed democracy and limited civil rights has become more real. Jewish. In the new situation. or at least a weakening of civil rights. The first is the convocation of a constitutional convention to make corrections to the main chapters of the constitution or to work out a new draft. In this situation Russian democrats. The realization of such ideas would lead to the destruction of the law-governed state and set the regime on a course toward an authoritarian form of rule. which include first and foremost the Russian Orthodox Church. In early 2002. and the system of changing the constitution. the sections on human and civil rights and liberties. and now the introduction of such changes to the constitution is considerably more problematic. opening up the issue of constitutional design could lead to a constitution that is worse than the existing one. Moreover. the transfer of too much power to the president of Belarus within the Union of Russia and Belarus. the changes that would take place would likely be the restriction of civil rights. Considering the balance of power in both houses of parliament. The second way is to introduce a few amendments that do not contradict the basis of the constitutional regime. as well as Muslim. which is a self-defense mechanism that complicates the amendment process. but no others. the Unity faction drafted a clearly anticonstitutional bill under which the state was to give several charters to so-called traditional confessions. with Putin’s election the system of checks and balances has been further weakened. Based on the words and actions of certain Russian politicians. the newly elected chairman of the Federation Council. Yabloko in particular. Such amendments need an . high-ranking politicians and some governors strongly supported the extension. The constitution now contains two ways of amending it.

and abolishing the departmental courts could be addressed by means of new federal laws and federal constitutional laws. Working toward the observance of existing constitutional and legal norms and leaving matters in their present—albeit far from perfect—state is better than opening a Pandora’s box. The principle of not doing any harm should be supreme. While considering the constitutionality of certain laws in the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court is appropriate on occasion. The balance of political power in a constitutional convention formed in the present political and social environment could result in authoritarian measures. . increasing the role of the government. The first method is long and complex and therefore unlikely to be undertaken. The time for grand constitutional experiments has passed. the final result of this procedure could be quite contrary to their expectations. adopting budget federalism. the state structure can be changed without tampering with the constitution. The only reasonable way to change the constitution in the midterm and long term is to add amendments gradually as has been done in the United States. Vital questions such as reforming the Federation Council. Moreover. the role of these institutions in the current situation should not be overestimated.82 | The Constitution extraordinary two-thirds majority vote in both chambers of the Federal Assembly and then ratification by two-thirds of the eighty-nine subjects of the federation. The bases of the constitutional regime and civil rights contained in the constitution should not become the subject of political games. Thus the freeze put on the adoption of a law on constitutional conventions was the correct decision. None of the drafts of this law introduced in the Duma has been satisfactory. Although many impatient politicians are eager to change the constitution. but the time for establishing a permanent document has not yet arrived.

including an armed conflict between the president and the parliament in October 1993. Most national policies of consequence derive from laws passed by both houses of parliament and signed by the president. and are enacted by presidential decree. Both branches of government respect the basic tenets of the constitution. elections for both branches of government have occurred as scheduled and according to law. Since 1993. but without success. Neither side has threatened to abolish the other by extra-constitutional means. the relationship between the executive and legislative branches has stabilized. albeit with one side 83 .4 Legislative–Executive Relations Andrei Ryabov of powers between the executive and legislative branches Tgramhehasofseparation been among the most important accomplishments of the grand proreforms to sweep post-communist Russia during the past decade. Even confrontations allowed by the constitution have been rare. The transition from a one-party state led by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to a new political system based on interaction between legislative and executive institutions was a tortuous process punctuated by a number of conflicts. The president has never dissolved the parliament. This stability in legislative-executive relations was the result of compromise reached by the two branches of government. and the parliament has only tried to begin impeachment proceedings once (in 1999). Since this conflict. The quality of their interaction also has improved.

The development of these structures was central to the string of political reforms undertaken by Mikhail Gorbachev. whose goal was to weaken the power of the Party’s political apparatus. Is the president the head of state or the true holder of executive power? Should the Communist Party be considered a political party or is it better viewed as a criminal organization? What mix of planned economy and market institutions govern or should govern the organization of the economy? What are the borders of the new state? These issues were only settled when one power—the president—succeeded in establishing hegemonic control over the parliament in the fall of 1993. and subject to manipulation. in the Soviet Union and then in Russia. Instead. taking root in the representative institutions that sprang up independently of the Party and government cadres. The timing of elections. his opponents agreed to Yeltsin’s constitution. In successful conversions to democracy. and even the range of issues open to political contestation should be decided beforehand. The result has been stability. but at the cost of eliminating genuine checks and balances in the regime. even though they did not like the balance of power that it established between the president and the parliament. However. The Gorbachev Era Russia’s present political framework and system of checks and balances first emerged during the Soviet perestroika period. This chapter explains the emergence and consequent consolidation of the super-presidency by tracing the evolution of legislative-executive relations over the last fifteen years. elites did not succeed in negotiating these basic rules in delineating the path from the old to the new during the transition. uncodified.84 | Legislative–Executive Relations compromising more than the other. the chosen mode of transition left many of the rules of Russia’s new polity ambiguous. Gorbachev’s reluctance to abandon fundamental socialist ideology—he wanted an improved version of socialism—prevented the reformers from establishing . Critics refer to Russia’s super-presidency as its most antidemocratic feature. the organization (especially the division) of power within the state. Faced with the choice of acquiescence or renewed conflict. However. the rules of the game governing relations between different branches of government have to be negotiated during the transition period. At that time Boris Yeltsin used his power to dictate a new set of rules to govern executive-legislative relations.

Vladimir Lenin’s idea of a “republic of soviets” was the prototype for a nationwide. and thus compelled them to rely on the traditional vertical power structure of the soviets. Therefore the concept of a republic of soviets negated the notion of a professional legislature by definition.1 Inspired by the Paris Commune and the Russian revolutions of 1905–1907 and 1917. from creating delegations of worker union members to restoring the multistage election system that had existed in the Soviet Union before 1936 and the congresses of soviets. This system was intended to be a vehicle for local self-government by individual enterprises and small communities. the changes carried out under Gorbachev were meant to return the soviets to their constitutional role as decision-making and enforcement agencies. public system of self-government meant to replace the centralized state machinery and its institutions. Gorbachev considered various ways of gearing the Soviet system toward this goal. and therefore proved ineffective as a government institution. It was the introduction of semicompetitive elections in 1989 and 1990 (see chapter 2) that allowed the creation of the institutional groundwork for consolidating the democratic opposition that had as its base the existing structure of the soviets. Their function amounted to little more than formally rubber-stamping decisions made in advance by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Moreover. This approach ensured that democratically elected deputies to soviets at all levels could perform their legislative and representative functions only through public service during short sessions. At the same time. The soviets were not decision-making centers. Such efforts were especially successful at the municipal level in cities such as Moscow and St. delegating implementation authority to executive committees elected from among the deputies. The transformed soviets subsequently played an important role in relieving the pressure of orthodox communist ideology on society and in mobilizing public support for democratic reform. At the root of this ineffectiveness was the soviets’ limited authority— inherent in their very nature. Institutionally. The assumption was that such measures would alert deputies at all levels to their political .Andrei Ryabov | 85 new representative bodies. their experience with ruling in 1990–1991 demonstrated that the soviets—even those that were fundamentally oriented toward reforms— were unsuitable mechanisms for implementing market-based reforms or setting up new social institutions. no separation of power existed between the executive and legislative branches of government. Petersburg.

where elected representatives of the people met during short sessions. was intended to institutionalize the abstract idea of the people’s sovereignty. The conservative party elite thought that this system would allow them to form a more loyal corps of deputies. the Supreme Soviet elected by the CPD did routine legislative work. The return to the soviets’ founding principles was insufficient to make them into genuine decision-making centers. The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR). including the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and its affiliated social organizations. since many experts at the time believed that a small group could hold the deputy it delegated to the soviet accountable more easily than a disjointed constituency of a territorial electoral district. discarding the practice of delegating deputies from social groups. and many other well-known prodemocracy public figures and journalists to the Congress. As a result. adopted a new system of soviets in 1990. a mixed system emerged at the top level of representative power: whereas the Congress of People’s Deputies was concerned with drawing up a political strategy. soon after the first elections to the Russian CPD and to regional and city soviets. it was precisely groups like these that nominated Andrei Sakharov. Instead. began to interfere actively in the day-to-day activities of the executive committees. the restoration of the Congress of People’s Deputies (CPD). In a situation . who following Lenin still regarded the soviets as an executive as well as a legislative institution. usurping their authority. the largest constituent republic of the Soviet Union. In particular. The USSR’s CPD still drew a third of its delegates from professional groups. Therefore Gorbachev borrowed from the parliamentary model the idea of a permanent legislature. the leader of the human rights movement in the USSR. one that would be formed from a subset of deputies from the Soviet Congress as a whole. The deputies. which created an atmosphere of legal and political chaos. But in 1990. the soviets’ inefficacy as government institutions became obvious. which combined a standing parliament with periodically convened national congresses of people’s representatives called the Council of All the Land. The Congress was instructed to outline the nation’s strategic policy direction on behalf of the people. That system was strongly reminiscent of the people’s rule mechanism of government. Often the deputies went so far as to attempt to take over executive functions. Some of these approaches to the formation of the soviets were implemented during the course of Gorbachev’s political reforms.86 | Legislative–Executive Relations responsibility. suggested before the 1917 Bolshevik revolution by the Socialist Revolutionaries.

In this context. The institutional conflict between the Russian president and the system of soviets assumed center stage. the position of mayor and the office of chief magistrate of a municipality were established by referenda in Moscow and St. however. namely. Most analysts believe that the creation of the Russian presidency is explained not so much by institutional reasons. and the other emphatically in favor of radical. . 1991–1993 At the end of 1991. The struggle for power between the USSR government and the government of the RSFSR compelled Yeltsin and the Supreme Soviet of Russia to join forces in their struggle against Gorbachev. the presidency of the USSR was established.2 The “August” Republic. new institutions of executive government that were independent of the system of soviets were established to promote reform. the pursuit of any sensible and consistent policy was difficult. In the fall of 1991. Lurking behind that confrontation was a political conflict between two trends among elites in the late Soviet era. that is.Andrei Ryabov | 87 where any decision about national or local problems was a subject of public debate. during the so-called August Republic. Petersburg. Nevertheless. These differences were suppressed only by a larger institutional struggle between the USSR and the RSFSR. one supporting Gorbachev and his policy of gradual transformation of the communist system. While he took some important steps in other areas of political reform. the conflict between these two trends within the ruling class shifted to the core of the Russian power structure. and a year later. after the breakup of the USSR and the collapse of the communist regime. market-based reform. as by political considerations. who was backed by Union elites. the struggle derived from ambiguous rules. This divide played a key role in the country’s political life from 1991 to 1993. ideological differences fueled the clashes. the people voted in a referendum to create the presidency of the Russian Federation. Likewise. In 1990. More often. At the time. the need to enhance the efficiency of the political system in which the soviets were playing a growing role. Yeltsin had a political mandate to reconstitute the formal rules governing relations between the president and the parliament. plans harbored by some Soviet elites to carry out radical social reform and to speed up the redistribution of public property. the division of powers between these new executives and their corresponding legislative bodies was still ambiguous.

Yeltsin and his new government associates were also busy doing many other things. The Congress possessed not only legislative powers. such as managing the peaceful dismantling of the world’s largest empire and beginning the difficult process of transforming Soviet communism into Russian capitalism. Polarization between parliament and the president on the issue of economic reform in turn produced a constitutional crisis. an amended leftover from the Soviet era. universally recognized rules of the game governing relations between the parliament and the president had detrimental consequences for economic reform. By preserving a conservatively-minded parliament. Yeltsin feared that having gained a majority in the supreme legislative government body. the mass democratic movement would make a serious bid for political leadership during the process of reform. but generally favored the CPD.3 Nevertheless. Congress could also impeach the president by a qualified two-thirds majority vote without appeal. that is. He preserved the institutional configuration in place at the time. and secured a vast domain for maneuvering. because both claimed jurisdictional authority over the economic reform process. but on the other hand. the government was not an independent political institution in the First Russian Republic or August Republic.88 | Legislative–Executive Relations including the dramatic series of changes that produced the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union. Once Gaidar began to implement reforms. a majority in the CPD crystallized against his policies. the Congress had to agree to the president’s choice of candidate for the vice presidency. Yeltsin decided against pursuing political reforms that could have helped to clarify the relationship between the president and the parliament within the Russian Federation. retained a substantial amount of autonomy in relation to various centers of influence. . Yeltsin appointed Yegor Gaidar to head his economic reform team within the government. The constitution. For example. it was formed by the president. its activities were under the Congress’s and the Supreme Soviet’s strict control. and eventually for political stability. Finally. but also other extensive rights. The lack of clearly defined. the system of soviets. he failed to pass a new constitution even though his own Constitutional Commission within the Russian Supreme Soviet had already drafted one. For instance. and augmented it with a newly created presidential office with illdefined powers. offered little guidance as to which branch of government should be in charge. On the one hand. he held on to his monopoly on political initiative. He also did not try to take advantage of his then incredible popularity to create a new balance of power within the parliament by convoking new elections.

. For instance. Yet he realized that the heads of these subjects of the federation would further the interests of local elites. In most regions. in Yaroslavl Oblast. Ambiguity about who was in charge of the government helped to inspire yet greater polarization between the president and parliament. To strengthen the ties these government authorities had to the Kremlin. but failed because they lacked control over local administrative resources. constructive cooperation occurred between the executive and representative institutions. The president and the Supreme Soviet adopted decisions on budget expenditures and issued binding instructions to the government and to ministries practically independently of one another. The government took its policy instructions from the president rather than from Congress or the Supreme Soviet. each cabinet member had to meet two criteria: commitment to the idea of socioeconomic reform and personal loyalty to the president.4 Seeking to counter the soviets’ vertical power structure. Yeltsin decided to appoint heads of regional administrations (later known as governors). the Congress and Supreme Soviet deputies never succeeded in doing so. although the official line stated that he did this to prevent the disintegration of statehood after the breakup of the Soviet Union. in August 1991. Some of these plenipotentiaries tried to take over executive powers in the regions. Eager as they were to exert influence on the government’s policy. Subsequently. the president also installed presidential representatives in supervisory positions in every region as a way to exert federal executive influence in the regions. Only in exceptional cases did Yeltsin reshuffle his cabinet under pressure from the deputies. the rest having been appointed by the president.5 In a few regions where the governor and a majority in the regional soviet belonged to the same political camp. The establishment of two rival vertical power structures only aggravated the institutional conflict between the president and the Supreme Soviet. The confrontation between the legislative and executive branches of government during the August Republic period was essentially reproduced at the level of the federal districts. both institutions were equally anxious to claim extensive powers not explicitly determined by the Constitution. fierce power struggles broke out between the soviets and the governors in a situation where only eight out of eighty-eight regional heads of administration had been elected by popular vote. thereby creating chaos and rendering executive authorities incapable of pursuing any sensible policy. As Vladimir Ryzhkov writes.Andrei Ryabov | 89 Only over time did the president establish his hegemony over the government.

while in Bryansk Oblast the regional head of administration and the regional soviet sided firmly with the Russian CPD. retrogressive forces. which was poorly suited to the changing relationships among the branches of government. deputies drafted a series of constitutional amendments that would have liquidated Russia’s presidential office altogether. which dissolved the Congress and called for new elections for a newly revamped parliament. while the influence of the reformist forces waned. Over time. In a replay of the 1991 drama. The Congress responded by calling this decree illegal and subsequently recognizing Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi as the interim president. whereby executive bodies of power have always held much greater appeal to the masses than representative bodies. These rival groups failed to reach agreement on the adoption of the new national constitution. As a result. Society’s preferences were confirmed by the April 1993 referendum. The conflict between the president and the Supreme Soviet developed into an implacable standoff that both regarded as a life or death political struggle. Russia suddenly had two heads of state and two governments. the question of their relative legitimacy assumed special importance for the contending parties. when each side prepared constitutional reforms to weaken the other. leveled devastating criticism against both the Congress and the Supreme Soviet in the mass media. With the multiparty system still embryonic. both rival governmental institutions were compelled to perform the functions of “super-parties” to seek direct popular support and to mobilize their followers. This cultural artifact was cleverly exploited by Yeltsin and his team.90 | Legislative–Executive Relations both legislative and executive government institutions backed Yeltsin. Russia’s political culture. which showed that the president and his policies commanded much more popular support than the Supreme Soviet. each claiming sovereign authority over the . In this context. In most regions polarization echoing the standoff in Moscow shaped local politics. Yeltsin preempted their plans by issuing Decree Number 1400. Both sides sought to mobilize the public directly in support of their cause. Russia kept the 1978 constitution. The crisis came to climax during the summer of 1993. also played a role in giving the president more popular support. the Supreme Soviet lost standing in society as the balance of power within the Supreme Soviet shifted decidedly toward the pro-communist. but no unambiguous answer to this question was forthcoming for some time. which through journalists loyal to them. the key issue of the August Republic. In preparing for the Tenth CPD in the fall.

Outside Russia. The Presidential Republic Yeltsin and his supporters’ victory paved the way for a political system new to Russia: a presidential republic in which the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of government assumed new content and institutional form. In retrospect. par- . This was due not only to the existence of an internally contradictory political system. the conflict ultimately exploded into an armed clash between the president’s and the Supreme Soviet’s supporters on October 3–4.Andrei Ryabov | 91 other. Even though the new constitution was intended to be a departure from the incongruities that the previous constitution had allowed. as political analyst Lilia Shevtsova has noted. On the second day of fighting. in practice it too created myriad contradictions. were far from perfect. however. After a standoff at the barricades that lasted several days. Heterogeneous political systems made up of institutions belonging to different political eras existed in many states in transition. 1993. The new Russian Constitution. put into effect the principle of separation of powers. the tense institutional and political stalemate between the executive and representative branches of government in the August Republic could indeed probably have been broken only by the force of arms.”6 Russia was different. Also multiparty elections were introduced for the State Duma.7 This widespread perception only exacerbated the confrontation between the president and the Supreme Soviet. the parliament’s lower chamber. the transformation of those systems was accompanied by conflicts that did not always end in bloodshed because. the changeover from the mixed political system of the August Republic to the presidential system was a step toward further democratization. adopted following the December 1993 referendum. From a purely legal standpoint. The new laws. the president’s armed forces prevailed. Its political culture lacks a tradition of tolerance and compromise because of its history of a lengthy authoritarian rule that did not tolerate opposition and strived to suppress it. politicians were accustomed to perceiving power as an indivisible phenomenon that could have only one real decision-making center. “[I]n Eastern and Central Europe there was no such manifest gravitation toward monopoly over power on the part of two democratically elected institutions so as practically to rule out a peaceful outcome of confrontation. Influenced by these traditions.

and the head of the Federal Security Service (the former KGB). These ministers report directly to the president. Because of Yeltsin’s victory in October. . not the prime minister. and the 1993 constitution consolidated the imbalance of power in favor of the presidency. The State Duma. not the prime minister. the lower house of parliament reconstituted in December 1993. In particular. This degree of unchecked presidential authority in effect assigns the power to appoint ministers to the president. since he can dismiss the prime minister at any time. to provide institutional conditions under which the president and the government would be able to carry out radical market reforms unhindered. The president is vested with the powers of head of the executive branch of government. the head of the government. the president has the exclusive right to appoint the prime minister.8 In addition to these considerations. which they felt would protect their interests against protests from those disadvantaged by economic reform. is given the power to approve or reject the president’s nomination. In addition. the minister of internal affairs. In addition. the president is the head of state and the guarantor of the constitution. The framers of the new political system set several tasks for themselves: to overcome the divided power of the August Republic period. but rejection comes at a high price. the new constitution eliminated the post of vice president. The prime minister names government ministers and these ministers do not need the Duma’s approval. they got their way.92 | Legislative–Executive Relations ticularly evident in today’s relationship between the executive and legislative branches. ensuring that no rivals to the president’s power would arise within the executive branch. which entails certain executive and legislative functions. and to counter the tendencies weakening the unity of the Russian Federation. The Russian elites who supported early market reforms and the promotion of a proprietary class sought strong and centralized executive power. the corporate interests of the leading actors in the political process played a decisive part in laying and implementing the legal groundwork for relations between the executive and legislative branches of government. then the Duma is dissolved and new parliamentary elections are held.9 As stated in the constitution. the president is given direct power of appointment of the so-called power ministers: the minister of defense. the minister of foreign affairs. If the Duma rejects the president’s candidate three times in a row. Ultimate power over the government resides with the president.

Yeltsin’s constitution reorganized the internal construction of the parliament by creating a bicameral national parliament. because of the narrowness of the formal legal approach in understanding the nature of the Russian presidency. however. the president also assumed principal responsibility for setting military doctrine.”12 In my opinion. Nevertheless.13 The lower house of parliament.10 According to the new constitution. drafting the state budget. the logic of the constitution placed the president above the entire political system. 2 each from the 89 regions of the Russian Federation. the Federation Council. For instance. Alexei Salmin. comes to the conclusion that “formally the Russian presidency as an institution is not stronger than the French. this inference is not objective. In other words. in which the social and political forces of change were supposedly still so weak that they needed support from a strong head of state vested with the full powers of government. . and controlling the central bank. In addition. decision-making centers. The upper house. when analyzing the formal law aspects of the presidency as established by the constitution. The informal role that the president plays in the Russian political process must also be taken into account. exclusive. has 450 deputies. the president has the power to perform law-making functions alongside parliament. the State Duma. The result was the proliferation of bureaucratic organs that eventually turned into uncontrolled. Consequently. the president promulgated more laws than parliament. was constituted on a territorial basis and consists of 178 members.Andrei Ryabov | 93 The new constitution also gave the president the right of legislative initiative and the authority to issue decrees having the force of law until the adoption of corresponding legal acts. which promptly went from being a technical service to an important—and often irresponsible—political institution. Between 1993 and 1994. He was to play the role of a coordinating power in the spirit of Benjamin Constant and to integrate the efforts made by other institutions and branches of government. The most prominent among these was the President’s Administration. the constitution gave the president the right to create special bodies on which to rely for help in performing his constitutional duties. not all Russian analysts believe that the contemporary Russian political system is a super-presidency.11 This archaic political-legal construct stressed the transitional character of the new political system.

The Duma was authorized to draft and pass bills. While in theory it has the power to approve or disapprove of the president’s candidate for prime minister. Yeltsin issued presidential decrees regarding the electoral rules. Impeachment proceedings can be initiated only in instances of treason or high crimes and the Supreme Court—not the Duma—has the authority to determine what presidential acts qualify as treason or high crimes. they are unlikely to exercise this power. in reality. especially when compared with the powers of the Supreme Soviet. The president is empowered to dissolve the State Duma if it rejects the president’s candidate for prime minister or passes votes of no confidence in the government three times in succession. The constitution specified that these first legislators were to serve for two years only. Taking advantage of the president’s protection from public control. The powers of the State Duma were markedly curtailed in comparison with those of the former Supreme Soviet. Because the president appoints the members of these courts. This outcome responded to the strategic interests of the new elites who wanted the president to arbitrate their conflicts among themselves concerning the distribution of formerly public property. Nonconstitutional Factors Influencing Presidential-Parliamentary Relations The 1993 constitution consolidated the president’s power over the legislature. Most of the checks on power in the new system of law work in favor of the executive. when the first elections to these legislative bodies were held in December 1993. its control functions in regard to the executive branch are minimal. big property owners lobbied for their interests and built up informal centers with a high degree of . the procedure by which the 1993 constitution provides for the president’s impeachment is too complicated ever to be carried out. Impeachment requires a two-thirds majority in both houses followed by a confirmation from both the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court stating that the process is legal and that the charge is an impeachable offense. but the constitution required that the upper house also approve bills and gave the president veto power. As discussed in chapter 2. At the same time. The Duma’s only powerful function is approving the budget.94 | Legislative–Executive Relations The constitution drafted and ratified in 1993 did not specify the procedure whereby representatives to the Duma and the Federation Council were to be selected.

the representative body has not become a force exerting any real influence on the affairs of the state. Civil Society Parliament’s weakness in the political system after 1993 derived not only from the aspirations of new elites. preferred to put together stable support groups in the legislatures (the so-called parties of power) as vehicles for conducting their policies. Accordingly. ran presidential candidates of their own in 1996. Russian society has developed neither the need. the domineering president fostered political irresponsibility at all levels of state government and administration. the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) and Yabloko. nor the aptitude for exerting systematic influence on the government. The executive authorities. because such a party could have tried to exercise control over the activities of the head of state. A recent book by a group of Yeltsin’s former advisers includes this unattributed statement: Let’s face it. with most agents of the political process steadily losing incentives to act on their own.Andrei Ryabov | 95 leverage over political decision making in the executive branch. At the same time. such as through stable and responsible parties espousing a clear-cut ideology and truly expressing public interests. but also from the weakness of civil society institutions (discussed in greater detail in chapter 6). both federal and local. A strong presidential party was unnecessary.15 The Ambiguous and Changing Power of the Government Yeltsin’s personal ambitions became an extremely important factor in the development of the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of government in the period following the adoption of the 1993 . In the late 1990s.14 As discussed in chapter 5. The parties took no part in forming a government that would be accountable to parliaments at either the federal or local levels. political parties were also weak and could not contribute significantly to the formation of the executive branch of government. these informal centers all but took over official political institutions in some important areas. Only two. there are as yet no arrangements for exerting such influence.

By the time the nation’s system of law was adopted in December 1993. rapidly growing.96 | Legislative–Executive Relations constitution. they secured themselves against forced retirement or premature dissolution. Because the government was part of the executive branch. This trend became increasingly pronounced in 1994 and culminated around 1997–1998. The increasingly closer relationship between the government and the Duma effectively strengthened the government’s power. Institutional interests of common political survival outweighed political and ideological differences between the “red” Duma and the moderately reformist government headed by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. when his former comrades-in-arms—Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi and Supreme Soviet Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov—led the Congress’s mutiny against him. it had no means of formulating its own political objectives. however. a development that Yeltsin did not like. Many analysts concluded that the 1993 constitution had been tailor-made for Yeltsin. Working together. when the government secured a firm stronghold in the Duma and developed into a center of executive power alongside the presidency. he was in full control of policy. Yeltsin arranged his relationship with the government and parliament in such a way as to keep maximum executive powers concentrated in his hands and the bulk of political responsibility resting with the government and the State Duma. This fear of the Chernomyrdin government becoming . This logic made the government under the new constitution a buffer between the president and the State Duma. which accounts for the priority he placed on political survival instead. This happened even though in 1997–1998 most of the State Duma members belonged to the opposition: the Communist Party and its allies. Yeltsin had likely begun to lose confidence in his capacity to make Russia a modern. and that was reflected in the new power structure. that was the prerogative of the president. Having emerged victorious from the conflict with the Supreme Soviet. to a certain extent the government had to take the Duma’s position into consideration. In cases where the broad powers of the president and his political irresponsibility were in apparent imbalance with the Duma’s and the government’s feelings of precariousness and vulnerability. the prime minister and his government and the parliament decided to forge relationships of constructive cooperation. and prosperous power. Another reason for his change of emphasis was Yeltsin’s personal mistrust of the leading members of his political team following the events of 1993. The president was therefore in a position to shift the blame for the executive’s political setbacks to the government. At the same time.

it could lead to the transformation of the superpresidential political system into a mixed presidential-parliamentary republic. starting in 1994. Consolidation of the New Russian Elites Another important factor in determining the character of the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of government during the presidential republic was the gradual consolidation of the new Russian elites. As a result. Nevertheless. for instance. and often polarized between individuals within the executive branch and not between different branches of government. At the same time. informal. One cannot rule out the possibility that the conflict between the president and a Duma-backed prime minister may be replayed during the period of Vladimir Putin’s presidency. he accelerated the integration of the conservative wings of the old party and Soviet upper crust into a free market system.16 If the government were strong. especially considering that the government under Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov is becoming a strong institution supported by influential interest groups. Yeltsin awoke to the danger that a split in the ruling class posed for the presidency. agreeing with the point of view that the government is “one of the most inscrutable and inefficient elements of the new Russian political system” is difficult. Rivalry between two executive power centers recurred in the spring of 1999. After the tragic events of 1993. This is roughly the distribution of spheres of activity that has been evolving between Putin and the government since 2002.Andrei Ryabov | 97 an autonomous decision maker is what led Yeltsin to fire the prime minister and his cabinet without warning in March 1998. leaving the realization of social and economic policy to the government. but the success of such a transformation will depend on so many factors that defining it now is difficult. and the State Duma. Theoretically. when the Yevgeny Primakov government had also established a relationship of close cooperation with the Duma. and national safety issues. set up by Yeltsin to address specific political problems. thereby precipitating the government’s demise in May 1999. it could play an influential role in contemporary Russian politics and in the decision-making process. relations between the president and the government may avoid a deep conflict. were ad hoc. The relations between the president. He did this primarily through . if Putin prefers to concentrate his activity mainly on international policy. defense. the government.

however. A remarkable example of this occurred in March 1996. both Yeltsin and the Duma communists had an interest in maintaining a degree of tension. when Yeltsin ignored his aides’ recommendation to dissolve the Duma and ban the Communist Party on the pretext that parliament had denounced the Belovezhka accords and in doing so had called the legitimacy of Russian statehood into question. By getting the red directors involved in the privatization process. and after the gubernatorial elections of 1996–1997. Yeltsin helped level off the difference in economic potential between the reform-minded and conservative groups of the emergent Russian elite. Yeltsin reneged on his earlier decision to ban the CPRF and initiated the 1994 Public Accord Agreement. each side recognized certain rational limits to the feud. the party secured a firm foothold in the executive government bodies of the constituent federal entities. because such a relationship best served their interests at the mass politics level. Since the late 1990s. It has made strong contacts with big business. one of the purposes of the 1993 constitution was to discourage the growing trend toward self-rule in certain federal regions and to restore the Russian Federation to the centralized political . because even though the Communist Party had gradually adapted to the emergent market economy. who had lost his former drive for social reform. the CPRF’s leadership has been steadily integrating into the new establishment. it was still under pressure to impress its electorate with the rhetoric of heroic resistance against the anticommunist regime. Why the conflict between the “red” Duma of 1995–1999 and the president never culminated in a serious political upheaval is now clear. The fourth and final element in the balance between the executive and legislative branches was the new relationship between the federal and regional elites. The CPRF supported this line of political confrontation. in which CPRF nominees scored impressive successes. during this later period. As mentioned earlier. something that was not the case during the fall of 1993. To further remove barriers to the consolidation process. had to continuously validate his legitimacy by invoking the myth that the nation was in imminent danger of a communist comeback. proven to be an inconsequential initiative.98 | Legislative–Executive Relations a privatization policy that drew a large section of the former managerial elite—the “red directors” of industrial and agricultural enterprises—into the process of dividing up public property. Even though Yeltsin and the communist-controlled Duma often came close to severing all relations during the power struggle.17 Remarkably. Yeltsin. which has.

However. The members of the Federation Council often leveled sharp criticism against the government’s policy line. Yeltsin’s ill-conceived poli- . tipping the balance for him in his reelection bid. Seeking to prevent the restoration of a vertical legislative power structure and simultaneously to meet the regional elites halfway. The only fully independent decisions made by the upper chamber concerned executive appointments. Yeltsin was assured of a social and economic policy that was relatively free of conflict with the Federation Council. Moscow lacked the financial and administrative resources to carry this out. when the transitional articles of the constitution lost effect. and Sverdlovsk. in particular—they inevitably fell in line behind Yeltsin.18 The articles had restricted membership in the Federation Council to only those members who represented the heads of the executive and legislative government branches of the federation’s constituent entities. Regions like Tatarstan. Bashkortostan. The upper chamber served also as a reliable legislative filter. but when it came to decision making—on the national budget. starting in 1994 Yeltsin signed a series of special agreements on the separation of powers between the federal center and members of the federation. which were stronger than others politically and economically. took advantage of the new arrangements to create areas in the realm of authority in which local legislation took precedence over federal laws. The recognition of the enhanced political role of the regional elites manifested itself in 1995. To legalize the nonconstitutional practice of delegating power to local authorities. on the grounds that their systems were based on the general principles of federal law. in mid-1999 Yeltsin and the Federation Council clashed in earnest. and here too they approved a number of Yeltsin’s chosen candidates. most notably the attorney general.Andrei Ryabov | 99 and legal entity it had formerly been. blocking those bills pushed by the Duma that disagreed with Yeltsin and his government’s positions. Despite this seemingly advantageous arrangement. and to strengthen his authority. Yeltsin was compelled to compromise with regional leaders. Yeltsin granted the regions the right to establish their own systems of executive and legislative institutions that took into account local needs and specificities. In exchange for the regions’ increased economic and political independence. The feudal principle of power separation between the center and the regions that Yeltsin introduced enhanced his political leverage. in the 1996 presidential elections an overwhelming majority of the Federation Council rendered powerful support to Yeltsin. and members of the Auditing Chamber. Similarly. high court judges.

nor capable of. Only a new federal law passed during the Putin era mandated that all regional legislatures must adopt a mixed electoral system. which suited the governors. Only a few regions introduced a mixed election system under which some of the deputies were to be elected from single-seat constituencies by majority vote. a right further endorsed by the 1996 Federal Law on the Basic Principles Underlying State Power Organization in the Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation. the upper chamber’s resistance was somewhat passive. The regional elites. Despite the constructive cooperation that the legislative and executive branches of government had achieved. Other regions shifted completely to the majority vote system.100 | Legislative–Executive Relations cies and his neglect of the need for political certainty among most elites drove him and his closest circle. who chiefly sought to consolidate their positions. lacking the necessary powers and political initiative. various analysts. For the governors to get local parliaments consisting of individual deputies representing single-seat constituencies under their sway was much easier than influencing parliaments structured on the principle of party affiliation. into political isolation. Despite this diversity. were neither prepared for. the parliament failed to take a leading role in the process of further democratization. The constitutions of the constituent republics of the Russian Federation. The 1993 constitution granted Russia’s regions the right to establish their own power structures. In many cases. Even then. even while mindful of the clash between the president and the Supreme Soviet in 1993 and fearing its recurrence. including Vladimir . A large group of federation members copied the power structure that had emerged in Moscow following the adoption of the 1993 constitution. Yet executive power remained dominant in individual districts. the nature of the relationship between governors and local legislative assemblies was largely determined by the specific features of each region’s political regime. Political parties were weaker in the constituent entities of the federation than they were in Moscow. who sought freedom from any form of public control. finalized the legal creation of the system of local government authorities. were unable to initiate impeachment proceedings against Yeltsin in May 1999. assuming the responsibility of shaping a new national strategy. as well as individual districts’ selfapproved regulations. the so-called family. others used proportional representation from party tickets. The changes that have taken place since the early 1990s have led to the emergence of various types of executive-legislative relations in the regions. The State Duma deputies.

This is the case in Moscow. An executive who is above the scrutiny and influence of parliament. Yeltsin’s all-out efforts to keep himself in power. Their struggle is projected onto the public sphere and stimulates the development of a multiparty system as well as the strengthening of the role of the local parliament as a representative government institution. the existing legal framework would block any political. A good example of a region with this system is Sverdlovsk. The third model. the argument goes. the local parliament has no independent voice and is compelled to serve as a vehicle for conducting executive policy. presupposes fierce competition between various elite groups.19 The first model is characterized by the monopolization of a region’s political power and resources by one political figure in a winner takes all fashion. have identified three main types of political regimes in Russia’s regions today. where the multiparty system is among the most advanced and stable in the entire federation. Also under discussion were different proposals for an effective separation of powers. and hence of society. Prospects for Constitutional Change Toward the end of his rule. cannot adequately respond to new social challenges or devise realistic policy and is doomed to chronic conflicts with the other branches of government. war within law. Despite various pessimistic predictions. In such a system. especially the Duma. Tatarstan. the mechanism for the separation of powers provided by the 1993 constitution has held and has demonstrated . many predicted that the 1993 constitution would not outlive its maker. depending on the strength of the rivals’ position. Within such a regime. The options considered ranged from a presidential-parliamentary system like that of the French Fifth Republic to the classical presidential republic of the United States. Bashkortostan. combined with the scandalous failures of the government’s social and economic policy (punctuated by the default of August 1998) led many to believe that the constitution needed to be amended to give the parliament greater power and oversight.Andrei Ryabov | 101 Gelman. and economic reform. the dominant figure is forced to negotiate with political rivals about the division of spheres of influence with the aid of informal institutions and compromise-based strategies. As a result. local legislative assemblies act as partners and at the same time as counterweights to the executive. In the second model. Proponents of constitutional reform argued that if allowed to persist. social. and Kalmykia.

The first and perhaps most decisive factor was the pressure that public opinion exerted in favor of cooperation. Although the Duma has not become an equal partner of the president. The second factor enabling a transformation in executive-legislative relations was the formation of stable interest groups in the upper strata of Russian society. A number of factors have contributed to this evolution. Yet even with such encouraging trends. the new relationship between the executive and legislative branches is still far from stable. during the election campaigns of 1999–2000 the public unambiguously declared a desire for order and stability as well as for an improved standard of living. but during the 1990s. when Putin’s reform of federal relations. or even a check on. the Duma will . After a decade of chaos and injustice. Under these circumstances. The new elites who had acquired power and property under Yeltsin also wanted stability so that they could consolidate their fiefdoms more effectively. neither Putin nor his government experienced any difficulties in the lower chamber when it came to passing market reform bills. the issue of constitutional reform has receded into the background as the relationship between the president and the parliament has shifted from confrontation to partnership. the president. A similar trend could be observed in the Duma. This trend actually stemmed from the mid-1990s. This can be seen in Putin’s democratic election in 2000 and his subsequent successful formation of a new political regime. the parliament has become a more stable and effective partner. and more dynamic reforms will probably be needed in the future. the party system stabilized. and large and medium business secured stable and effective means of lobbying for their interests in parliament. the parliament did gain status and power. From Putin’s point of view. The importance of these groups grew as the parliament proved an increasingly useful tool for law-making. when through its legislative activity the Duma wrested legislative initiative from the president’s hands. where the communist opposition held no more than 25 percent of the vote and grew from the executive’s active antagonist into a reliable junior partner. Indeed. This was unambiguously signaled in 2000. For one thing. this popularity helped to stifle opposition and created an environment of political legitimacy and stability. when political parties began to gain strength.20 The Duma’s importance increased toward the late 1990s. Both the public at large and the elites pinned great hopes on Putin. aimed at weakening the political and economic influence of the regional elites.102 | Legislative–Executive Relations stability. had the Duma’s resounding support. The Duma cannot be considered an equal to.

accountable government to assist the president. For the sake of greater political effectiveness. Yet he later reneged. which he expressed in his address to the Federal Assembly on May 15. The ousting of governors and local presidents of Russia’s constituent republics from the federal policy level and the institution of Moscow’s executive plenipotentiary representatives in every member of the federation caused regional leaders to tighten their grip . The contradiction between the council’s high constitutional status and its real political weight will likely lead to further modifications of its character and orientation in the future in accordance with the overall alignment of political forces in the country. the Duma will turn against him. 2003. The final issue that needs to be addressed is the imbalance of power in the government’s regional branches. which Yukos sought because the president became increasingly slow in making important political decisions as time neared the elections of 2007–2008. and possibly some other large companies. Perhaps it was these political initiatives by Yukos that prompted the accusations of economic crimes soon lavished on the company by law enforcement organs. Petersburg wing of his team that Yukos.Andrei Ryabov | 103 keep its political loyalty to Putin only for as long as the president commands tremendous authority in society. The prospect of a new confrontation between the executive and the Duma cannot be ruled out. The company’s leadership enjoyed a strong lobby among Duma deputies. An example is the conflict that took place in the summer of 2003 between part of president Putin’s entourage and the large oil company Yukos. The reorganization of the Federation Council in 2002 changed its fundamental character from an assembly of regional leaders into a gathering of lobbyists engaged in promoting various projects in the interests of the constituent entities they represent. Moreover. thereby making it politically accountable to the Duma. and Yukos counted on its lobby in the Duma to exert considerable influence on the government. The idea was packaged as the creation of a strong. Implementation of this plan would lead to a greater role for the parliament. The moment his policy becomes a target of public criticism. problems created by previous reforms of federal relations and of the vertical power structure persist. evidently convinced by the St. it supported the idea of forming the government according to a parliamentary majority. A reorganization of power between the executive and legislative branches may also be triggered by tensions within the ruling elite. were interested in weakening presidential power in favor of the government. The president at first looked on this idea with favor.

to balance the distribution of authority between the two branches of government. promoting authoritarian tendencies that undermine a constructive cooperation between the legislative and executive branches of government in the long run. leading to further pressure for effective constitutional reform and a change in the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches. . the existence of these problems may cause a relapse into antagonism between the president and parliament. the improvement of relations between the executive and legislative branches of government must proceed toward two objectives: first. No matter what form the separation of powers takes.104 | Legislative–Executive Relations on Federation Council members. and second. to find effective ways to attach political responsibility to presidential power. In the final analysis.

The degree of party control over electoral choices and the subsequent party penetration of significant state bodies serve as good proxy measures for party development. small parties can have assymetric influence over policy debates. Empowered by expertise or connections to key decision makers. Despite the erosion of the influence of parties in old democracies and the difficulties of establishing parties from scratch in new 1 democracies. parties then represent the interests of their constituents in the formulation. be they ideological. no personal networks. A no democracy.5 Political Parties Michael McFaul party system is an essential attribute of a democratic regime: no parties. Yet some degree of representation within the state is usually necessary for a party to influence policy outcomes. In consolidated democracies. During elections they provide voters with distinct choices.3 105 . and therefore little influence over policy. and sometimes the implementation. parties perform several tasks. The crux of party power comes from participating in elections and then winning representation within the state. parties are the most important groups in representative structures. The degree of party penetration of state institutions need not correlate directly with a given party’s power over policy outcomes. of state policy. while large parties may suffer the opposite: no expertise.2 In liberal democracies. or even ethnic. theorists still agree that parties and a party system are necessary evils for the functioning of representative government. aggregating societal interests and then representing those interests. After elections. social.

this chapter starts by providing a rough estimate of party development and of party penetration into the main political institutions that are filled through popular election. however. Cultural. even if these design choices had unintended consequences that did not represent the preferences of the most powerful. the federal government. but not all. but enjoyed only limited success elsewhere? Why has party success within the Duma not stimulated party development elsewhere? Is the current weak party system a temporary outcome or a permanent feature of Russian politics? This chapter argues that parties are weak because the most powerful politicians chose to make them weak. regional administrations.106 | Political Parties Thus to influence policy making. but individual decisions—especially decisions about institutional design—have been the more proximate and more salient causes of poor party development. The next section explains these results. To demonstrate the centrality of individual choices about institutional design in the making and unmaking of Russia’s party system. parties have only limited representation within the state and even less influence on the state’s actions. Parties influence electoral choices in some elections. the lower house of parliament. In every other part of the government. Why have parties succeeded in organizing and influencing the work of the State Duma. By this set of criteria. successful parties and developed party systems must be able to influence the vote and then win representation within the state. historical. the privileged position of parties in the State Duma also resulted from individual choices about institutional design. have won seats in the Duma. including the President’s Administration. and regional parliaments. Parties have played a central role in parliamentary elections. The one oasis of party development has been the State Duma. party development has a long way to go in Russia. Consequently. In elections in which parties play a central role. The third section then pushes the causal arrow back one step and explains the origins of the . they do not enjoy a monopoly in structuring the vote. and have been able to translate their electoral successes into parliamentary power by organizing the internal operation of the Duma in ways that benefit parties. parties have played a marginal role in structuring votes and an even smaller role in penetrating or influencing these other government entities. At the same time. and socioeconomic factors impede party emergence. the Federation Council.

are necessary conditions for policy influence in most countries.5 The final section offers some speculations about the future of party development. and ultimate influence over policy outcomes. this law was an accident of history. and subsequently some degree of representation within the state. but only provide proxy measures for party development and party influence. The one exception is the electoral law for the State Duma. The party with the largest membership does not always enjoy the greatest electoral success or the highest level of influence over policy outcomes. Measuring Party Development Party development can be measured in many different ways.4 The argument is that most of the institutional arrangements for choosing elected leaders reflect the preferences of Russia’s most powerful actors. Some ways count members. that is. These electoral institutions are not the product of socioeconomic cleavages.8 Although many other factors intervene to dilute or enhance the influence of parties over policies after elections have occurred. this measure assesses the penultimate step. Each of these approaches has strengths and weaknesses. some measure partisanship among voters.9 This stage in the chain can also be quantified much more easily than either earlier stages or the final stage. The third measure—party influence over outcomes—is the most interesting.7 A fourth approach for calibrating party development—measuring the electoral success and subsequent degree of party representation within state bodies—is used here. party identification in society. those who have not needed parties to remain in power.Michael McFaul | 107 institutions described in the previous section. . In several respects. In the causal chain between party organization. electoral success and representation in the state. the one institution that has encouraged party consolidation. but also the most difficult to trace. Analysts of party development have also asserted that the party in government often precedes the development of extraparliamentary organizations or the party in the electorate. The first two approaches can be quantified. suggesting that the party in government is a good place to start tracing party development in a young democracy like Russia. some degree of success at the polls.6 and others trace party influence over policy outcomes. Conversely. low or declining levels of partisanship do not necessarily translate into a loss of party dominance at the polls or in policy making.

After the August 1998 financial crash.108 | Political Parties The President and the Federal Government As discussed in earlier chapters. In the 2000 election. but the winner. Primakov. party leaders again participated. had a real party affiliation. Following the December 1993 elections. political parties had a minimal role. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin subsequently invited representatives from the Agrarian and Communist parties to join his team as a way to partially reflect the will of the people within his government as expressed in the parliamentary election. Parties have played some role in influencing the composition of the federal government through the Duma. parties have played a marginal role in structuring presidential votes and have not had any success in gaining party representation within the President’s Administration. however. Vladimir Putin. three of the top five finishers were party leaders and the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF). the most powerful position in the Russian political system is the office of president. To date. When party members did join the government. Russia’s Choice. parties in the Duma have managed to influence the choice of prime minister and the composition of the government. In the first presidential election in 1991. Party leaders have participated in presidential elections. Yevgeny Primakov. Primakov then appointed CPRF leader Yuri Maslyukov as his first deputy prime minister. however. was once again not a party member. advanced to the second round. Yegor Gaidar and Boris Fyodorov resigned from their posts in the government after their party. Boris Yeltsin also dismissed his party-backed prime minister. without suffering any sanction from Primakov’s party . This institutional arrangement severely weakens the role of parties in the formation of the government and therefore weakens the role of parties more generally. In the 1996 election. who finished third. opposition parties in the Duma demanded the resignation of the liberal Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko and appointed a leftof-center candidate.10 Whoever captures this office plays a dominant role in policy making. Formally. they usually transferred their allegiance to the prime minister and drifted away from their party organizations.11 After crises. Only Vladimir Zhirinovsky. In all these cases of party penetration of the government. the distribution of power among parties in the Duma does not directly influence the selection of the prime minister or other ministers in the federal government. suffered a devastating defeat at the polls. Gennady Zyuganov. the president and the prime minister were not obliged to bring in party members.

Michael McFaul | 109 supporters. Mikhail Kasyanov. Note that none of the regional leaders joined these blocs to enhance their own electoral prospects. the composition of the government has not reflected the balance of forces within the Duma. Stepashin’s successor. the pro-government electoral bloc. Parties have also played a central role in the Duma’s internal organization and directly influence Duma policy The current electoral system for the State Duma accords parties a privileged position in relation to the selection of 50 percent (225) of Duma members. organize the internal work of the council. Between 1995 and 1999. Unity. To date. Putin’s prime minister. The State Duma Elections to the State Duma constitute the one arena in which parties have played a major role. Prime Minister Putin. who did not rely on party support or party identification to win their seats on the council. In addition. but only one of the regional leaders actually joined Unity. not party factions. only a handful of them had parties ties. garnered the endorsement of dozens of Federation Council members during the 1999 parliamentary campaign. the upper house consisted of chief executives of regional governments and chairs of regional legislatures. The Federation Council The Federation Council. Between 1993 and 1995. Similarly. when senators were elected. had a similar nonpartisan background. Today. nine regional executives joined forces to form the electoral bloc Fatherland-All Russia (OVR). He replaced him with Sergei Stepashin.12 Most important. regional executives and legislatures send envoys to represent them in this body. Committees and regional associations. A number of Federation Council members adopted party affiliations in the run-up to the 1999 parliamentary elections. the upper house of the parliament. is another party-free state institution. This allocation is divided proportionally among parties that receive at least 5 percent of the popular vote in a national election (for a sin- . but this coalition quickly fell apart after the 1999 vote. who at the time had no party affiliation or party ties. also has no party affiliation. these regional leaders lost their seats in the Federation Council in 2000 when Putin changed how the upper house was to be constituted. and few of these appointees have party memberships.

The demographics of its electorate are . a national grassroots organization. The party boasts an extremely loyal following that identifies with these issues. and notable leaders. Yabloko. brand names. and organizational capacities.110 | Political Parties gle electoral district).16 Yet this identity is well defined.15 The CPRF’s position on the economy is not its only unique platform plank. Three of the four have enjoyed representation in all three parliaments that have served since 1993. all four parties have well-defined political orientations. CPRF programs and policy documents also include a heavy dose of patriotic slogans. nationalistic proposals.18 Most important. Yabloko has also developed a well-defined political niche (as the democratic opposition). a core electorate (the not-so-well-off intelligentsia and white-collar workers in large and medium cities). loyal electorates. and a well-known leader. and compared with the other parties Yabloko probably most closely approximates a genuinely post-Soviet political party. however. that is.13 The ability to field national party lists and candidates in three consecutive national elections suggests that these four parties have financial resources. especially among older. and nostalgic conservatism.17 In contrast with the CPRF.14 The CPRF now recognizes the legitimacy of private property and free markets. this party was created from scratch after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Four national parties comprise this core: the CPRF. Proportional representation has helped stimulate the development of interest-based or ideological parties within the Duma. while Democratic Choice of Russia had opposed the first war in Chechnya in 1995. but nonetheless still advocates a major role for the state in the economy. Second. The head of the party. the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR). the SPS supported the second war in 1999. has remained consistent over the decade. unabashedly liberal (in the European sense of the word). and rural Russians. After three parliamentary elections in the 1990s. The rest of the SPS’s program. has been a nationally recognized political figure in Russia for the last decade. the core of a multiparty system appeared to be consolidating at the end of the decade. the SPS modified its platform before the 1999 campaign. In contrast with the Democratic Choice of Russia in 1995. poorer. First. and the Union of Right Forces (SPS). Yabloko’s identity is defined more by the kind of people who identify with the party and less by the kind of ideology the party advocates. Grigory Yavlinsky. Zyuganov. all these parties participated in every Duma vote in the 1990s. These four parties share many attributes with parliamentary parties in other political systems.

including former prime ministers Kiriyenko and Gaidar and former first deputy prime ministers Boris Nemtsov and Anatoly Chubais. political figures in Russia. In the first post-Soviet Duma. of aggregate support. the rotation of prime ministers.20 Because of the mixed electoral sys- . and liberal parties have formed. For most voters. and Chelyabinsk. New nationalist. Fourth. the SPS has only a skeletal organization outside Moscow. but none captured more than 2 percent of the popular vote in the 1999 elections. wealthy. but a small variation when compared with Yabloko totals in 1995. Yabloko lost a percentage point. which have survived to this day. and populism. The CPRF won almost exactly the same percentage.Michael McFaul | 111 the polar opposite of those of the CPRF: young. suggesting that the LDPR may be the weakest of these four “old” parliamentary parties. In 1993. Petersburg. Zhirinovsky’s core voters—a fraction of his original support in 1993—have remained loyal to the LDPR throughout these twists and turns. Given all that happened in Russia between parliamentary elections—the 1996 presidential election. not the volatility. he and his party were clearly in opposition to the Kremlin. but other resources—including strong financial backing—compensate for this weakness. the August 1998 financial crash. three of the four parties won roughly the same percentage of votes in the 1999 elections that they won in December 1995. Third. Zhirinovsky’s LDPR suffered a sharp decline and lost nearly half its electoral support. but their antiregime militancy was less apparent in the 1999 elections. and urban. and the wars in Chechnya—what is most striking about these results is the stability. Samara. Nonetheless. communist.1 demonstrates. St. if not the most notorious. His relationships with those in power have varied over time. no amount of campaign advertising would change their firm opinions—some positive. a big blow to the party. with a slight improvement in 1999. Organizationally.19 No new ideologically based party has managed to challenge these established parties for their political niches. are some of the best known. as table 5. SPS leaders. The SPS performed surprisingly well in 1999. or even 1993. Zhirinovsky’s LDPR also has an identifiable ideological orientation: nationalism and imperialism. which convened in 1994. all four parties have acted together to make the Duma a “partycentric” institution. party leaders took the initiative in writing the internal rules of order for the Duma. but the percentage is similar to the total pool of votes cast for parties firmly identified as liberal in the 1995 contest. but most negative—about these people.

94 percent).3 49. tem. Pamfilova-Gurov-Lysenko (1.0 N/A 3.1. Committee chairs were allocated proportionally between party factions. and Common Cause (0. party leaders passed a resolution that gave party factions the power to allocate staff to individual faction members.6 24. and the Council of the Duma was established to organize the Duma’s agenda.2 18.7 percent). two new electoral blocs competed on the party list ballot and succeeded in capturing a significant .7 7.21 The new parliament voted to give the status of faction to all parties that had received more than 5 percent of the popular vote on the party list ballot.6 Source: Central Electoral Commission a. not increasing. Internal cohesion made the Duma a more formidable opponent to the president.86 percent). Finally. In particular. 1995 and 1999 (percentage of national proportional representation vote) Political party or bloc 1995 1999 Communist Party of the Russian Federation Yabloko Union of Right Forces Democratic Choice of Russia All right-wing partiesa Liberal Democratic Party of Russia/Zhirinovsky bloc Unity Fatherland-All Russia Our Home Is Russia None of the above and parties below the 5 percent threshold 22.4 N/A N/A 10.3 1. Independent deputies (or deputies elected on party lists who then opted to quit their parties) had to collect thirty-five members to form a new faction. Includes Democratic Choice of Russia (3.22 The results of the 1999 parliamentary elections suggested that party dominance over such elections and parliamentary representation might have been declining. Results of Party List Voting in Duma Elections.1 11. Forward Russia! (1. because some party members won seats in the single-mandate races so leaders moved quickly to establish the primacy of party power.9 8. These new rules quickly established parties and party leaders as the preeminent actors in the Duma and created incentives for nonpartisan deputies to align with a faction.5 N/A N/A 6. The Duma also approved a new rule that gave party factions control over speaking privileges on the floor.6 percent). more than half the Duma deputies had a party affiliation.0 23.112 | Political Parties Table 5.9 8.3 5.3 13.

25 Some leaders of this coalition emphasized the need for greater state intervention in the economy while others advocated cutting taxes. Eventually. created OVR to promote his presidential aspirations. Parties of power are coalitions forged before electoral cycles whose intent is to defend the interests of those already in power. advocated strengthening the federal government. and contradictory. the party of power was Russia’s Choice.24 After Putin’s victory. middle-of-the-road. people without a tradition of voting for these two new organizations. OVR enjoyed the support of loyal followers in cities and . such as Tatarstan’s President Mintimer Shaimiev. The coalition’s position on Chechnya also wavered and waffled. mayor of Moscow. Unity published a program. Second. most of whom were already in power at the regional level. Typically. In 1993. The prelude to the 1999 campaign was unusual in that the first party of power to form—OVR—comprised government officials. members of the government are members of these parties of power. headed by then prime minister Chernomyrdin. both OVR and Unity had poorly defined identities among the electorate. Unity. OVR’s program was bland. OVR collapsed. These competing parties of power had many similar features. not Russian voters.23 These two election blocs shared many similar qualities. Third. Leaders in both coalitions considered the parliamentary contest as a stepping-stone along the way to capturing the bigger prize. an electoral bloc headed by several government ministers. including Primakov and Luzhkov. but its target audience appeared to be electoral analysts. while Primakov joined OVR to advance his presidential prospects. In contrast with these four parliamentary parties. that is. On behalf of Putin. Unity’s program was even more mysterious. stressed the need for greater decentralization of political power and for strengthening federal institutions while others. the two coalitions were better understood as parties of power.Michael McFaul | 113 portion of the popular vote: OVR and Unity (Medved). In 1995. Unity and OVR were created to influence the presidential race in 2000. the party of power was Our Home Is Russia. Yuri Luzhkov. but had little in common with the four parties discussed earlier. these new political organizations had new electorates. Regional leaders. almost by definition. the Kremlin created Unity to weaken Luzhkov and Primakov as presidential candidates and strengthen Putin’s prospects. the Kremlin eventually responded by creating its own new party of power. First. but aspired to power at the federal level and were not in favor with the Kremlin. To prevent this party of power from coming to power.

2 shows. a former prime minister. Nonpartisan candidates assumed a more prominent role in the 1999 vote than in 1995. Yabloko’s share of single-mandate seats decreased from fourteen to four. . both the coalitions boasted one or two serious candidates before the parliamentary campaign began—Primakov and Luzhkov from OVR and Putin from Unity. while the four parliamentary parties did not have serious presidential contenders within their ranks. but this constituted only several regions. OVR took a nosedive at the same time that Unity climbed in the polls. In 1995. and nonpartisan actors—including regional elites—played a much more active role in influencing the outcome of these elections than in previous years. and in contrast to the stable levels of support expressed throughout the fall of 1999 for the four parliamentary parties. therefore. as table 5. Not surprisingly. and Mikhail Zadornov. The CPRF won eleven fewer seats in 1999 than in 1995. ideologically-based parties to expand their success on the party list in 1999 meant that they suffered serious setbacks in producing winners in single-mandate districts (SMDs). The trend in these contests is an antiparty direction. Thus the failure of the established. which account for the other half of the Duma. and two of these seats were won by candidates with only a loose affiliation with Yabloko. Their participation on the party list ballot impeded the expansion of support for Russia’s more established parties. Though concerned primarily with influencing the presidential election. the two new electoral coalitions together captured more than a third of the popular vote on the party list in the December 1999 elections. nonpartisans captured more SMD seats in 1999 than in 1995. Stepashin. popular support for the two coalitions varied considerably throughout the 1999 parliamentary campaign period.114 | Political Parties regions governed by their leaders.27 In the aggregate.26 Finally. Elections in the Single-Mandate Districts Parties have never played much of a role in influencing electoral choices in single-mandate races. a former finance minister. One pattern is especially striking: the declining role of the older parliamentary parties in determining electoral outcomes in SMDs. After the parliamentary campaign—which served as a presidential primary for the two coalitions—both Primakov and Luzhkov accepted their defeat and withdrew from the presidential race.

Unity won only nine seats. 1995 and 1999 1995 Political party/bloc Deputies from party list voting Deputies from singlemandate races 58 Communist Party of 99 the Russian Federation Yabloko 31 Union of Right Forces 0 Liberal Democratic 50 Party of Russia/ Zhirinovsky bloc Unity N/A Fatherland-All Russia N/A Our Home Is Russia 45 Agrarian Party of Russia 0 Independents. but managed to win only five single-mandate seats. In 1999. Even the two new presidential coalitions did not dominate the single-mandate races. multiparty .2. the Democratic Choice of Russia captured less than 4 percent of the popular vote but won nine single-mandate races. In some major metropolitan areas. delivered the wins. local parties of power. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg. the SPS more than doubled the Democratic Choice of Russia’s party list showing. State Duma Elections. In other words. Number of Deputies Elected with Political Party or Bloc Affiliations. others Unfilled seats 1999 Total Deputies from party list voting Deputies from singlemandate races Total 157 67 47 114 14 9a 1 45 9 51 16 24 17 4 5 0 20 29 17 N/A N/A 10 20 103 N/A N/A 55 20 103 64 37 0 N/A 0 9 31 7 N/A 114 9 73 67 7 N/A 114 9 Source: Central Electoral Commission a. Democratic Choice of Russia. Regional Heads of Administration and Regional Legislators Political parties have played a limited role in regional politics. but the vast majority of these were in regions dominated by regional executives associated with this coalition. OVR won thirty-one seats. Zhirinovsky’s party won no single-mandate seats.Michael McFaul | 115 Table 5. rather than a national party affiliation. such as St.

29 By the end of this cycle. Throughout the 1990s. was the only party that had any real influence on these elections as a political party. the role of parties was even less pronounced. Only one candidate with open ties to Democratic Choice of Russia. During the cascade of elections of regional executives in the fall of 1996 and spring of 1997. Local parties of power with no ideological affiliations and strong ties to local executive heads also have dominated most regional legislatures. party development in the national legislature has not stimulated a commensurate growth of party influence in regional legislatures. In all electoral cycles for governors. Other parties. mostly—7. the CPRF claimed to have won as many governorships. and especially in St. and even the CPRF usually chased candidates to endorse rather than selected candidates to run. figured only in individual races. Yabloko endorsements played an important role in some races. . including regional parties and coalitions. Mikhailov has since distanced himself from the LDPR and grown closer to the Kremlin. succeeded in winning a governor’s race in the 1995–1997 electoral cycle. but in most regions. In her study of party representation in regional legislatures. but won only one. through its affiliate the National Patriotic Union of Russia. Petersburg.5 percent—with the CPRF. but several of these so-called red governors distanced themselves from the party leadership soon after their election victories.28 The CPRF.5 percent of all deputies in regional parliaments have national party affiliations. but Yabloko party members did not win a single race. where Governor Eugeny Mikhailov may have been the only candidate who won because of his party affiliation. Zhirinovsky’s LDPR ran candidates in several races. Kathryn Stoner-Weiss reports that only 11. At the beginning of the electoral cycle. Semen Zubakin in the Altai Republic. few executive leaders (presidents and governors) at the regional level had open party affiliations. the Kremlin backed candidates and funded campaigns. In the 1999–2001 electoral cycle for regional heads of administration.3 percent of the 11. political parties played only a marginal role in selecting and endorsing candidates. the National Patriotic Union of Russia had endorsed only twelve candidates.116 | Political Parties systems are beginning to take root.30 Clearly. in Pskov. a state-based informal network dominated by the local ruling elite—the regional party of power—still dominates politics. but not through party organizations.

atomize society. as these organizations served to control people. However. are the main impediments to party development. post-Soviet Russian leaders and citizens have had an allergic reaction to parties. are . Instead. in that some argue that Russian history and culture. While other East European countries were able to revive old parties from their precommunist past. Socioeconomic cleavages were important for party development in Western Europe.34 Moreover. create new interest groups. The slow development of capitalism in Russia suggests that a similarly slow formation of market-based interest groups is likely.Michael McFaul | 117 Importance of Institutions The causes of party weakness in Russia are many and diverse. successful post-communist transformations destroy old classes. small groups with well-defined interests. Russians have not built strong parties because Russians are not democratic. Yeltsin vowed never to join another party again.33 In Russia. After quitting the party in 1990. and thus had no party culture to resurrect. A variation of this legacy approach goes back even further.31 this inheritance may serve more as a barrier to the growth of grassroots party development than as a base from which to develop new party organizations. they prefer strong. almost everyone living through the transition. including first and foremost the CPRF. If transitions to democracy in capitalist countries primarily involve changing the political system. at least temporarily. which continue to form the basis of the largest organizations in the post-communist era. and confuse. Proponents of this view cite Russia’s hundreds of years of autocratic rule as evidence. The scale of socioeconomic transformation in Russia has also impeded party development. This school explains weak party development as part of a more general phenomenon of the lack of democratic development. The Soviet system produced substantial social and organizational capital. these cleavages are still poorly defined. Because party organizations and activities dominated Soviet society. not just the Soviet period. Russia had only a modicum of experience with competitive party politics before the revolution. and discourage participation in real politics. paternalistic leaders who develop a direct relationship with the people that is not mediated or distorted through parties. and many in Russia sympathize with his decision. as in all capitalist societies. Seventy years of Communist Party rule created a strong negative reaction within Russian society in relation to party politics. like Russia’s financial oligarchs.32 According to this argument.

38 The role of parties in government differs from institution to institution. including first and foremost the incorporation of proportional representation in the parliamentary electoral law. Russia has weak liberal parties because it has a small and ill-defined middle class. The slow emergence of civil society.36 Between 1990 and 1997. Institutions and individual choices in designing institutions must also be brought into the analysis. Yet a core of a multiparty . Russian parties. As a complement to structural or organic models of party development that highlight the reasons for the lack of party development in Russia. These structural approaches offer important insights about party weakness in Russia. and ideological resources necessary for party development. those for change and those against. for their part. cultural. which are more likely to articulate their interests through parties. and the relationships among the heads of administration of local legislatures at the regional level. interest cleavages in the 1990s were fashioned more by general attitudes about the transition rather than by particular economic. Structural. suggesting that more proximate variables are intervening to cause this variation. concerns. the kind of electoral systems. discussed in detail in the following chapter. and legacy factors cannot explain the emergence of the four parliamentary parties described earlier and cannot account for the variation of party strength in different state institutions. individual politicians and interest groups also play a role in the emergence of parties.39 Specifically.118 | Political Parties more likely to solve collective action problems more efficiently and rapidly than mass-based groups such as small business associations or trade unions. the relationship between the president and parliament at the federal level. all of which have impeded party development. because all these point toward weak or no party development. But elites also made a few choices about institutional design. Under these circumstances.35 For instance. which have stimulated the emergence and development of political parties.37 More conventional cleavages that demarcate the contours of stable party systems in other countries may perhaps emerge now that this polarization has begun to recede. or even ethnic. Russian political elites made choices about the timing of elections. severely limits the organizational. have had difficulty in situating themselves along programmatic or interest-based dimensions. financial. political situations and electoral choices were often polarized into two camps. but the long shadow of an authoritarian past and an unstructured post-Soviet society cannot take all the blame for the lack of party emergence or development.

41 In the last three parliamentary votes. the kinds of electoral laws and the types of rules governing executive-legislative relations chosen during the construction of Russia’s new political system have had a direct impact on both party development in one arena. and the SPS. To account for both the emergence and the lack of a party system. and their decisions (especially their decisions about institutions) must also be brought into the equation. A comprehensive explanation of party development must be able to account for the weak party penetration of most state institutions as well as the relatively strong degree of party development in the Duma. three of these four parties (Yabloko.40 The requirement that 50 percent of all Duma deputies must acquire their seats through proportional representation in a national election has allowed these four parties to organize and survive. This particular percentage has also been critical in giving these parties the power to organize the internal rules of the Duma. individual actors. Yabloko. the LDPR. As the party of power in 1993. Proportional Representation in the Duma as a Lifeline for Party Development As party analysts predicted and party advocates promoted. Without proportional representation. as well as on the lack of party development in other arenas. Over time. but even if they do fade from Russian politics as important forces. the SPS. The seeds of a multiparty system and the barren environment surrounding these seeds both demand explanation. as many have advocated. but only 25 single-mandate seats. their preferences. proportional representation as a component of electoral law governing the Duma has stimulated the emergence and consolidation of four parties: the CPRF. then the Duma might not benefit parties. and the LDPR) most likely would not exist today. Russia’s Choice—the predecessor of the SPS—won almost as many seats from single-mandate victories as it did from proportional representation. while Yabloko has won 67 seats through the party list. but instead might gravitate to a more committee-dominated form of internal organization. these parties may wither and die. If the figure were less than 50 percent. their power. In . but only 6 single-mandate seats.Michael McFaul | 119 system has emerged within the parliament. the LDPR has won 126 seats through the party list. In particular. their short-lived emergence must still be explained. Yabloko and the LDPR got their jumpstarts as national organizations from the proportional representation ballot in the 1993 parliamentary elections.

43 This learning period takes longer in post-communist transitions than in countries with already established market economies. In Russia’s transition. biding their time until the moment for multiparty politics was ripe. these numbers dwindle as parties that do not win representation disappear. the SPS. Only the CPRF. could survive without proportional representation.44 As already mentioned. the Democratic Choice of Russia (the liberal core that remained after Russia’s Choice disintegrated and its ties to the Kremlin frayed) won no seats from proportional representation. it was tossed to them after years of splashing in the ocean alone. After the failed putsch in August 1991 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union a few months later. benefited greatly from proportional representation. the new liberal coalition that included Democratic Choice of Russia. Voters also learn what their parties stand for. While declining in number. Proto-parties formed. parties assume center stage in transitions at the moment of first or founding elections. parties played a marginal role in the June 1991 presidential elections.120 | Political Parties 1995. which tend to serve up the largest menu of choices to voters. this moment came in the fall of 1991. however. disagreed and did not convoke new elections in the fall of 1991. the one party with an organizational inheritance from the Soviet period. making them less likely to waste votes on fringe or nonviable parties. In 1999. . compared with only five seats in single-mandate races. but they remained under the umbrella of Democratic Russia (the organization for Russia’s anticommunist movement in 1990–1991). but did win nine single-mandate seats. however.42 Over time. Generally.45 Russia finally had its first multiparty elections two years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. however. winning twenty-four seats from the party list vote. party organizers believed that Russia needed to convene its first postcommunist election—a founding election—right away. During this period of struggle against the Soviet system. however. Yeltsin. In the opinion of party leaders. If proportional representation has been the lifesaver that has kept parties afloat. democrats placed a premium on preserving a united anticommunist front. parties tend to increase in importance after a democratic transition as they emerge to play the central role in mediating interests between the state and society. parties organized only after the first two national elections: to the Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies (CPD) in 1989 and to the Russian CPD in 1990. as the traditional class-based identities in society are also in flux.

Yeltsin also sequenced elections so that parliamentary and presidential votes did not occur simultaneously.Michael McFaul | 121 Had Yeltsin convened elections soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Others have made the opposite claim. they might even have succeeded in monopolizing the process of selecting candidates. as well as older communist opposition groups such as the CPRF and the Agrarian Party of Russia. because many voters associated the painful economic decline of 1991–1993 with the leaders and policies of these liberal parties. most parties created during the heyday of democratic mobilization in 1990–1991 had disappeared. only two candidates were affiliated with parties and .48 Despite these timing and sequencing decisions that impeded party emergence. new protest groups such as the LDPR. be it an SMD race for a regional parliament seat. or a presidential contest. including liberal. while to date most deploy only single-mandate systems. the incorporation of proportional representation into the 1993. proportional representation appears to be their best tool. At the time.49 Only a small handful of regional legislatures have mixed electoral systems. and communist parties. one would expect to see a proliferation of party candidates in every majoritarian kind of election. Party proliferation has not occurred in these arenas. a governor’s election. political parties might have been able to step in and provide voters with programmatic choices. From this same analysis. In Russia’s first presidential election in 1991. Stoner-Weiss reported that the five regions that have incorporated some degree of proportional representation showed a higher degree of party penetration than the national average. social democratic.47 In contrast. Christian-democratic.50 For party advocates. the entire range of European-style parties existed. however. and 1999 electoral system for the State Duma helped to stimulate party emergence. By the time of the December 1993 elections. 1995. With the right electoral law. performed well in these first elections. Liberal parties were especially hurt by the postponement of new elections. The importance of electoral rules for party development is especially apparent when national and regional parliaments are compared. To date. finding evidence to support this latter claim is difficult. a situation that hampers party development.46 Yeltsin’s decision to veto the idea of holding such a founding election left these new political parties to wallow for the next two years with no political role in the polity. positing that national parties created and sustained by proportional representation distort the emergence of two parties in SMDs for the Duma by running multiple candidates.

the next most important design decision of consequence for party development concerns the presidential system. parties have not generated the proliferation of candidates for gubernatorial elections. however. The cause of the slow emergence of a two-party system does not appear to be the proliferation of parties generated by the Duma electoral system. After all. Empirical research on the actual exercise of presidential power in post-communist Russia suggests that the Kremlin occupant may not be as omnipotent as is commonly perceived. Nikolai Ryzhkov.122 | Political Parties one of them. not candidates affiliated with national parties. Similarly. The one arena of state power that parties dominate—the State Duma—is also one of the least effective institutions in the system. but the vast majority of those competing are independents. The salience of . which mediate interests between the state and society or constrain the freedom of maneuver of the chief executive. the same two parties that had competed in 1991—the CPRF and the LDPR—ran candidates and were joined by a third party candidate. many established democracies with strong presidents also have robust party systems.52 Russia is no different. presidential systems are less conducive to party development than parliamentary systems. are not needed in delegative democracies. and two of the top three finishers—Yeltsin and Lebed—had no party affiliation. the center of power is still firmly ensconced in the Kremlin.51 The remaining seven candidates. while the Duma has grown stronger over time. Around the world.”54 Organizations such as parties. This institutional arrangement resembles what Guillermo O’Donnell has called a delegative democracy. In 1996. Grigory Yavlinsky from Yabloko. however. only loosely so.55 Nevertheless. several candidates still contest these seats.56 A similar distribution of power between executives and legislatures exists at the regional level. constrained only by the hard facts of existing power relations and by a constitutionally limited term of office. The presence of a presidential system is not.53 This institutional constraint has been especially pronounced in Russia. The Effect of Strong Executives and Weak Parliaments on Party Systems After the inclusion of proportional representation in the Duma electoral law. sufficient to explain Russia’s weak party development. In the SMD elections for the Duma. where “whoever wins election to the presidency is thereby entitled to govern as he or she sees fit. because parties do not control the formation of government or even structure the presidential vote.

and then call upon all anti-Yeltsin parties. and Putin’s skyrocketing popularity . that is. to endorse him as their presidential candidate. and even he considered that he needed to downplay his Communist Party affiliation and hide behind a presidential “coalition”—the National Patriotic Union of Russia—which claimed to represent more than 100 organizations.59 One team recommended that Primakov run in an SMD as an independent. It recommended that Primakov join Luzhkov’s new coalition. Such a strategy is also risky. a poorly run OVR campaign. Russia’s current electoral law for the Duma has stimulated the emergence of a multiparty system. which occurs only two weeks after the first vote. He endorsed not one but two parties in the 1999 parliamentary vote: Unity and the SPS. Another group argued that Primakov needed an organization. he then called on all reform and centrist organizations to join his presidential coalition. Different advisers offered different strategies. Prime Minister Putin used the same strategy. but it is a system in which no single party has garnered more than a quarter of the vote in any parliamentary election. This strategic move then allowed him to act as a focal point for a large nonpartisan. many unexpected factors intervened to undermine OVR’s popular support and thereby decrease Primakov’s prospects as a presidential candidate.58 To piece together a majority in 1996. such coalitions are difficult to pull together because of interparty rivalries. a party. OVR. win a landslide victory in that district. Former prime minister Primakov’s alternative path is instructive. Affiliating with a party too closely before or during the parliamentary vote would have limited his chances in the general election. After this election. Zyuganov. however. Yeltsin decided not to affiliate himself with any single party in the December 1995 parliamentary elections. as a way to jumpstart his presidential bid. the 1999 parliamentary elections served simply as a presidential primary. Between Primakov’s decision to join OVR and the Duma elections in December. including even the CPRF.57 To date only one party candidate.Michael McFaul | 123 this institutional dimension only becomes apparent when combined with the mixed electoral system of the State Duma. has advanced to the second round. Party leaders can hope to take advantage of the runoff system in the presidential vote as a way to reach beyond their party’s electoral base. For him. anticommunist coalition. since party candidates have to rely on the endorsement of other parties and the support of their electorates in a second round of voting. to run a presidential campaign.60 Negative television coverage of Luzhkov and Primakov during the fall campaign. an opportunity to build momentum before the more important vote in 2000.

62 Over time. Primakov opted not to run at all in the presidential election. multiparty coalition that Primakov might have headed as a nonpartisan.61 At the same time. do not mix well. father of the nation figure (like Yeltsin in 1996). he might have been better placed to form a large. Primakov endorsed the idea of creating the office of vice president. which require successful candidates to win 50 percent of the electorate. Primakov would have had to negotiate a partnership with other parties. which encourage several parties with a minority share of the electorate. Only if and when two political parties dominate all others will candidates seeking executive office have an incentive to seek a party affiliation. Even under the best of circumstances. OVR is unlikely to have won more than 28 percent of the popular vote (the highest polling number I could find for the coalition) in the parliamentary vote. (Not surprisingly. Primakov would eventually have had to invite other parties to support him that may have had serious problems with endorsing a candidate from Luzhkov’s party. institutions can develop . anti-Putin coalition. the first argument is that actors design institutions that serve their interests. In tracing the decision-making process that produced this set of institutions that shaped party development. Had he won a major victory in an SMD.) Given OVR’s poor showing in the multiparty arena. and runoff majoritarian systems for presidents. Mixed electoral systems for parliaments. Mixed election systems with strong proportional representation components simply do not mesh well with presidential systems in which the chief executive is selected in a runoff majoritarian system. Institutional Design The previous section attempted to show the causal relationship between institutions and party development. Thus instead of serving as the focal point of a grand. With this minority share of the total electorate. why did Russian political leaders select this particular set of institutions in the first place? This question is especially puzzling given the inchoate mix of institutions chosen.124 | Political Parties as a result of successes in the Chechnya war played a decisive role. The next question is. Primakov’s decision to participate in a multiparty national election to the parliament would have weakened his chances to be elected president even if none of these other factors had intervened. which would have been especially difficult without positions like the vice presidency to trade for support.

actors can cooperate and coordinate their behavior to produce institutions that offer everyone an improvement over the status quo. political power through a process that did not require strong parties.66 When actors design new political institutions.65 However. Under certain circumstances. reflecting the preferences of those affected by their design.67 This means that they will design institutions that promote party development only if they see party growth to be in their interest.63 Some institutions may even become so powerful that they dominate individuals’ preferences. choices. autonomous actors—driven by preferences and armed with power—must be brought into the equation. . In these situations. they rarely act for the good of society and usually work for their own good. most in Russia have not. the presidential system has provided aspirants to the office a path to power that does not require a party affiliation. Once in place. but were all about obtaining. Rather. These choices initially had little or nothing to do with concerns about party development. assigning institutions such an independent causal role seems unreasonable. zero-sum distributional questions are often most salient. institutions—even accidental institutions—can begin to reform and reshape preferences and power in ways that can sustain them by offering increasing returns to those who abide by them. the new institutional arrangement more often reflects the preferences of the more powerful or more successful actors in the game of institutional design. The Politics That Produced Presidentialism Decisions of self-interest made in an uncertain context produced Russia’s presidential system. in the design of new political institutions.64 During periods of rapid and momentous change when old institutions are collapsing and new institutions are forming. Institutions are endogenous to the political process itself. and capabilities. actors’ choices about institutions may have unintended consequences. To date. Especially during periods of rapid revolutionary change when uncertainty clouds means-ends calculations.68 This set of simple arguments provides an analytical framework for explaining the emergence of institutions in Russia that have both impeded and stimulated party development.Michael McFaul | 125 an independent role or have an autonomous intervening influence on social outcomes. Once in place. A second argument is that institutional designers seeking to maximize their self-interest also make mistakes. however. and then consolidating.

Not surprisingly. Russian “democrats” realized that they controlled a minority of seats in the new parliament. emerged directly from the transition process. Yeltsin won a decisive electoral victory to become Russia’s first president. three months later. At the first meeting of this newly elected body. the referendum on the presidency went forward before the actual powers of the president had been spelled out and incorporated into the constitution. as other issues became more salient. but only by a paltry margin of four votes after several ballots. he would be in a much stronger political position in relation to his opponents in the Russian Congress and in the Soviet government. individual leaders.69 The office of the presidency. the creation of the presidential office was a strategy adopted to insulate the anticommunist movement from the power of the old elite.126 | Political Parties Concentrated power in the hands of the president is not the result of some kind of Russian cultural authoritarianism or of a historical proclivity for strong. in contrast with many other presidential systems in the region. and then the considerable powers of this presidential office. Yeltsin and his allies saw the creation of a Russian presidential office as a way to insulate him from the increasingly conservative Congress. The vote reflected the precarious balance of power within the Congress and probably within society as a whole. The idea for the creation of a presidential office had begun to circulate in democratic circles soon after the first session of the Russian CPD in the spring of 1990. The push to create a Russian presidency was in response to a concrete political situation and was not the result of a carefully plotted strategy or a philosophy about the need for a separation of powers or checks and balances. the old communist elite did not create the Russian presidency. Moreover. Yeltsin pieced together his slight majority only by emphasizing his support for Russian sovereignty. He did not need a party affiliation to win this office. Given this precarious hold on power. The March 1991 referendum on the creation of the Russian presidency passed overwhelmingly: 69.70 On the contrary. If he could secure a direct electoral mandate.71 In its first act of consequence in May 1990. which had been created to insulate Yeltsin personally from the Russian Con- . Polls indicated that Yeltsin was much more popular with the people than with the deputies. Yeltsin’s majority withered. Democrats were a minority in this body. Over time. the new Russian CPD elected Yeltsin as chairman.9 percent of voters supported the creation of the post of president and only 28 percent were against the idea.72 Indeed.

After an initial period of hesitation. In the interim. this blooming of the presidential branch of government met little resistance. a dramatic and unexpected event radically altered the political situation: the August 1991 coup attempt that Yeltsin and his allies thwarted. the Russian Congress voted in November 1991 to give the president extraordinary powers of decree. Yeltsin took advantage of his October victory to write a new super-presidential constitution. The sources of polarization between the Congress and the president eventually grew beyond disputes about economic issues and became a contest over which political institution was supreme. and this encompassed a shift in resources that included new staff. all political actors. The institutional design that emerged as a result of Yeltsin’s struggle to survive and eventual imposition of a super-presidential constitution has impeded party emergence. the Congress had six months to clarify and codify the constitutional division of powers between the president and the parliament.73 As a demonstration of its support of Yeltsin’s leadership. and then succeeded in ratifying his basic law in a popular referendum in December 1993. however. At the time of Yeltsin’s electoral victory. soon after the beginning of radical economic reform in January 1992. and greater executive control over the state budget. The stalemate eventually resulted in armed conflict between the two branches of government in October 1993. acquiesced to this new institutional order and began adjusting their behavior accordingly. Yeltsin’s victory created the conditions for putting a super-presidential constitution in place. however. Initially. new bureaucracies. After the June 1991 presidential vote. The institution of the presidency began building organizational capacity and power to deal with crises. all did not seem lost for his opponents. Had events unfolded in an orderly fashion. however. including those that Yeltsin had squashed in the fall of 1993. Yeltsin had cultivated an electoral base well before parties had come into existence. Yeltsin had won election to an office with ill-defined powers. During the period between the failed coup and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991.Michael McFaul | 127 gress. President Yeltsin played the pivotal role and his office—not the Russian CPD—assumed primary responsibility for all major institutional innovations and policy initiatives. this Congress might have been able to turn Yeltsin and his presidential office into a weak executive. the Congress or the presidency. Powerful actors making choices about institutions—not . This honeymoon period ended.

While the state continues to enjoy an enormous resource advantage over nonstate actors in the economy and society. effectively creating a hierarchical system of executive authority from the president down to local mayors. Most regional leaders obtained executive power through presidential decree in the fall of 1991. Especially because these elections do not include a runoff. local elites have an interest in party proliferation. or socioeconomic structures—erected this barrier to party development. Once in office. 1999. the resources of the local party of power are sufficient to win the needed plurality for victory. close. because it helps lower the threshold for victory in the single- . These resources alone were insufficient to win reelection.128 | Political Parties history. these regional executives then used the resources of the state. Similar to the national scene. to seek election when elections for these posts finally occurred several years later.74 but were more than enough to compensate for the lack of a party base. reporting directly to the national executive rather than to the oblast soviets. Had Primakov or Stepashin managed to survive as prime ministers a while longer. Ironically. These governors replaced the executive committee chairs of the oblast soviets as the new local executives. rather than the electoral resources of a political party. but in many regions he appointed former first and second secretaries of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. culture. control of the state is the best strategy for winning the presidential election. they might have enjoyed the same advantage. but Yeltsin decided to postpone them and instead unilaterally appointed executive authorities. Prime Minister Putin won the game of musical chairs by being the lucky person in the prime minister’s chair on the day of Yeltsin’s resignation. He removed several local leaders who supported the coup leaders.76 Securing support from the state-oligarch nexus at the regional level is also the most rational strategy for winning a single-mandate seat in a national parliamentary race. Yeltsin used the largesse of the state and the alliance between the state and Russia’s financial oligarchs as the resources for his reelection campaign in 1996.75 These governors then appointed new mayors in their oblasts. Elections for these heads of administration were scheduled for December 8. On December 31. parasitic relations between the state and regional oligarchs sustain this nonpartisan model of electoral politics for governors and presidents of the republics. when Yeltsin created the new position of head of administration at the oblast level. The emergence of powerful executives at the regional level followed a similar path. Once in power. 1991.

In 1999. he was much more focused on the constitution and was dealing with the standoff with Congress. however. and eventually it could even threaten the power of the actors who allowed the mistake to occur in the first place. challengers to state candidates have been compelled to form parties and electoral coalitions to balance the power of the incumbent or the handpicked successor within the state. however. Yeltsin and his team might have deployed extraconstitutional means to correct the error. this mistake has produced some unintended consequences in relation to party development. Russia’s mixed electoral system resulted from a miscalculation on the part of the Yeltsin administration. . In late September 1993. The outcome of struggles over the design of Russia’s electoral law should therefore reflect the preferences of the powerful. these outsiders enjoyed some success. Yeltsin issued the decree only three days before military conflict broke out between his government and the Congress-appointed government. Primakov opted for OVR while many governors followed the example of Eduard Rossel in Yekaterinburg and formed regional parties. is toward the entrenchment of nonpartisan executives through elections with less competition and a declining role of parties. which then produced an institutional arrangement difficult to change.80 While the constitution reflected Yeltsin’s preferences.78 The trajectory. In this context. Yeltsin spelled out the electoral rules for the Duma in Decree Number 1557. As mentioned earlier. Over time. 1993. rational actors choose electoral laws that maximize their ability to succeed in the electoral process. In the 1995–1997 electoral cycle. only one partyaffiliated candidate out of nine won a gubernatorial election.79 Proportional Representation as an Accident of History The origins of proportional representation have a different lineage than presidentialism. Because electoral law influences the electoral outcome. at least not precisely. If the mistake had affected a more important institution or if the Duma were more powerful. a coalition opposing the party of power might be able to consolidate. but it does not. which was issued on October 1.Michael McFaul | 129 mandate races. this mistake occurred in an arena of institutional design of least importance to Yeltsin and his team: the Duma. If only two parties competed in these elections. the decree did not. since Yeltsin himself did not have strong inclinations one way or the other regarding the Duma’s electoral rules.77 The presence of many candidates helps thwart such coordination. To be sure.

those involved in earlier debates about the electoral law. Russia’s Choice secured a paltry 15 percent. Sheinis and his colleagues Sergei Alekseev and Sergei Kovalev succeeded in maintaining the number of proportional representation seats at 50 percent. Zhirinovsky’s neonationalist LDPR won almost one-quarter of the popular vote on the proportional representation ballot. and Mikhail Krasnov. however. and therefore easier to control. including Aleksandr Kotenkov. this first argument about the need for parties did little to sway the president. believed that Russia’s Choice and the other reformist parties running in the election were capable of winning a majority of the popular vote. as well as his colleagues’ ignorance about the institutional effects of electoral laws. because they believed that direct elections of individuals allowed for greater accountability of deputies. In his meeting with Yeltsin. In public statements. would be the biggest beneficiary of this electoral system. This election did not go as planned by the scriptwriters. including People’s Deputy Viktor Sheinis. they were unlikely to win a majority of the single-mandate seats. He believed that proportional representation could be deployed to stimulate the emergence of a multiparty system and would help consolidate democracy. while the other democratic parties all won . Georgy Satarov. In Sheinis’s own estimation.130 | Political Parties Yeltsin had little time or proclivity to ponder the electoral effects of proportional representation versus first-past-the-post systems. less than half of what it expected. to craft a presidential decree that allocated 50 percent of all seats in the Duma through proportional representation. the aides managed to reduce the number of proportional representation seats to one-third of the total Duma. claiming that a mixed system would stimulate party development and thereby promote democratic consolidation. Like most others at the time. Sheinis took advantage of the chaos in September and October 1993. Sheinis prevailed in securing this decree over the advice of several key Yeltsin advisers. in a last-minute intervention with Yeltsin. and probably Yeltsin. these Yeltsin aides supported a majoritarian system. Sheinis first argued for the merits of the mixed system on ideological grounds. Yeltsin became more interested. Though not a member of a party at the time. played a central role in writing this crucial set of rules. Instead. Given their lack of reach in the regions. Sheinis was committed to multiparty democracy. Privately. However. Days before the signing of the decree. Sheinis. Russia’s Choice. But when Sheinis argued that the pro-Yeltsin electoral bloc. Yeltsin aides also intimated that they believed a parliament composed of deputies from SMDs would be more supportive of the president.

nationalist. that the State Duma passed did not neatly reflect the well-defined preferences of the powerful. the administration spent the next two years trying to rewrite the electoral law. The president and his team wanted to get rid of proportional representation altogether and reshape Russia’s political landscape into a two-party system. As expected. while new centrist groups combined for less than one-quarter of the vote. In particular. the Agrarians. In addition. Within the Duma. The institutional tensions in the present system create strange incentives and ambiguous signals for political actors. the mixed electoral system for . but from the perspective of the drafters. combined for almost 20 percent of the vote. the proportional representation vote stimulated the formation of a party system at the national level in Russia. meaning that a solid majority supported the fifty-fifty formula.82 The majority in the Duma wanted to keep the existing system because 50 percent of the deputies owed their seats to proportional representation. This support cut across ideological lines as liberal.81 When debated in the spring of 1995. the new electoral system in place from 1993 had reorganized political forces to create a new majority in favor of the status quo. Thus Russia’s electoral decree. and communist parties all supported the status quo formulation. The Kremlin’s campaign to reduce proportional representation after the 1995 parliamentary election also failed. more than seventy deputies who had won Duma seats through SMDs were members of parties that won seats through the proportional representation ballot.Michael McFaul | 131 less than 10 percent of the popular vote. however. Working through parliamentary factions loyal to Yeltsin. the administration proposed a new mixed system in which 300 seats would be allocated through SMDs and only 150 seats would be allocated according to proportional representation. The Future of Parties in Russia The current state of party development in Russia is not stable. The CPRF and its rural comrades. since 225 proportional representation seats would guarantee that a majority would favor the existing formulation. Horrified by this electoral outcome. These deputies also realized that the difference between 225 and 150 was pivotal. this amendment to the electoral law failed to pass through the Duma. whereas the presidential proposal did not. and then law. it stimulated the development of the wrong kind of parties.

especially after Putin’s electoral victory. Constitutional amendments limiting the powers of the president constitute the one institutional change that could stimulate party power by design from above. the same people who drafted the original mixed electoral system also advocate the weakening of presidential powers. two paths to a more stable outcome seem to be available: liquidating the presidency and developing a multiparty parliamentary system or liquidating proportional representation in the Duma as the first step toward developing a two-party presidential system. since parties won all the party list seats and added more deputies to their ranks by winning some single-mandate seats. From this base. These advocates of multiparty development still believe that proportional representation has given parties a foothold in the national legislature. the presidential campaign. Before the 1999 vote. In other words. . and eventually even regional executives. including the SMD seats in the Duma. The prospects for this trajectory are still alive. The first path would be an engineered solution to address party weakness. at least in the short run. the innovation in the electoral system first introduced in 1993 initially had little to do with the preferences of the powerful and occurred primarily by chance in the uncertain and chaotic context of the 1993 crisis. regional legislatures. these parties might then begin to influence other electoral situations. The old parliamentary parties have not managed to expand beyond the Duma’s walls. More likely is the elimination of proportional representation and a weakening of political parties. even if other important actors in the Russian polity did not support the mixed electoral system. While a glimmer of hope for such an institutional change appeared after the August 1998 financial crash. The results of the 1999 parliamentary elections unexpectedly undermined the majority coalition in favor of proportional representation and the status quo rules. pro-party deputies always had a solid majority in the Duma. Unity.132 | Political Parties the parliament does not reflect the interests of the most powerful political actors in the polity. but are not gaining momentum. the rule change seemed to manufacture a coalition in favor of perpetuating it. which captured almost one-quarter of the popular vote on the party list in the 1999 elections. has promised to eliminate proportional representation as a component of parliamentary election law. On the contrary. Not surprisingly. In the long term. such amendments seem unlikely. however. the trend indicates that their influence in other electoral arenas and state institutions is decreasing. Once in place.

At the same time. in the past. After a decade of weakly institutionalized multiparty politics. Since the 1999 vote. Most of its elements have joined forces with Unity to form a new party of power. a rule change that would deal a blow to multiparty development. especially liberal party development. Given the Communist Party’s failure to secure 50 percent in any national vote over the last decade—a decade in which the economic conditions were ripe for Communist Party renewal—a new electoral law that institutionalized a twoparty system would effectively guarantee Unified Russia’s role as the ruling party for the foreseeable future.Michael McFaul | 133 These rules in turn allowed for proto-parties to sprout even if they were not firmly rooted in socioeconomic cleavages of Russian society. Russia could be heading back toward one-party rule. Two optimistic caveats are in order however. For the first time. Only one politician still enjoys solid support: Putin. If Putin over time does not identify firmly with Unified Russia. . A two-party system consisting of Unified Russia and the CPRF could easily degenerate into a hegemonic party system. has crumbled. The results of the 1999 elections threatened to undermine this equilibrium. So far. this party—Unity—was created by the Presidential administration. this new pivotal party in the Duma attempted to raise the threshold on the party list to 12. First. then the Duma could easily eliminate proportional representation. Putin has demonstrated a real commitment to Unified Russia’s development. Unified Russia and the CPRF. but one party—the party of power—would dominate all electoral processes of consequence. The idea did not capture a majority. Unified Russia has the organizational capacity and state support to be a major contender in future parliamentary elections. OVR. then the Party’s future becomes more uncertain. another major winner from the party list. Opinion polls suggest that only two parties.5 percent. Minor parties might continue to exist. however. As a first step toward eliminating proportional representation altogether. Unified Russia. the voters have not rated the performance of those in power favorably. have enough support from the electorate to gain more than 7 percent. parties of power always looked much stronger going into the next national election cycle than they did after the vote. If these two parties emerge from the 2003 elections with a majority of the seats. Not surprisingly. but a majority compromised by opting to raise the threshold to 7 percent for the 2007 elections. an electoral bloc that rejected proportional representation won seats through proportional representation.

the Duma. given their disdain for proportional representation in national elections.83 Fifty percent of these seats will be elected through proportional representation. whether intended or not. Whether the Kremlin’s game plan will succeed is hard to predict. Nonetheless. and regional parties stimulated by proportional representation would also control the local institutions with the least amount of power. Of course. and president collaborated in 2002 to pass a new law that requires regional parliaments to use a similar electoral law as that in place for the State Duma. . More than a decade after the collapse of oneparty rule. this electoral system could have the same positive consequences for party development at the local level that it produced in the national parliament. the outcome at the national level is only a partial success. however. the strengthening of political parties at the local level might create opportunities for the emergence of meaningful national coalitions of partisans. thereby giving the Kremlin a new ally in regional politics. the process of grassroots party development might finally begin to take root. the Kremlin and its parliamentary allies supported this reform as a way to weaken executive authority at the regional level. Ironically.134 | Political Parties Second. This group foresees Unified Russia winning many seats at the regional level through the proportional representation system. Federation Council. At the same time.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the Soviet system repeatedly in 1990 and 1991. Russian society has not abandoned nongovernmental activity: by one estimate.2 However. political parties. and a heretofore passive. atomized. deferential citizenry formed political organizations unassociated with the Soviet party-state. apoliti135 . and newspapers and the exponential rise in citizen participation fueled hope that a civil society was taking root. civil society’s capacity to influence political outcomes on a national scale seems to have been greater during the last years of the Soviet era than it is today. An open. a society reared by decades of totalitarA ian rule surprised the world with political activity of unprecedented and unexpected scope. one capable of assisting the demise of the communist regime and assuring the survival and health of Russia’s infant democracy. democratic opposition materialized where dissidence had been sparse and scattered. the excitement over the country’s societal awakening has subsided and yielded to pessimism. Russian civil society is weak. Ironically. more than 200.6 Civil Society Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger t the end of the Gorbachev era.000 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have formed since the collapse of communist rule. and their supporters had hoped earlier in the decade. trade unions. including the attempted coup in August 1991. nonstate civic groups. and the thousands of NGOs and their members do not appear to be contributing to the consolidation of democracy to the degree that they. The proliferation of nonparty. their observers.1 A decade later.

but must instead stretch our notions of civil society developed from analysis of American and European democracies. Why has civil society failed to fulfill its promise. Finally. and heavily dependent on Western assistance for support. which seemed so great on the eve of Soviet collapse? Can we even talk meaningfully about a “civil society” in post-communist Russia ? If so. the Soviet legacy offered post-Soviet civil society little upon which to build. we examine an often ignored inherited impediment with deep roots in Soviet and Russian culture: the persistent disconnect between the elite and the masses. Subsequent parts of the chapter analyze the development of Soviet and post-Soviet society. let alone resisting state encroachment on societal freedoms. between the well-endowed organizations and grassroots activity. It exerts little influence over state actions and policies and lacks the capacity to play a meaningful role in mediating state and individual interests. An economic system in which the country’s resources are concentrated in the hands of a few people—oligarch capitalism as it is often called in Russia—offers few opportunities for the emergence of a civil society centered around and supported by a middle class. the specific policies of the president—President Vladimir Putin in particular—have also contributed to civil society’s decline in recent years. focusing on those societal activities that demonstrate independence from rather than obedience to the state and action rather than passive acceptance of exogenously determined events. the definition of the concept has itself been . We suggest that to understand what has happened in Russia we cannot adhere to an doctrinaire view of civil society.136 | Civil Society cal. A regime dominated by powerful executives does not foster civil society development. A third barrier is the institutional design of the state. Defining Civil Society During the recent conceptual resurgence and popularity of civil society in policy and academic discourse. what has impeded its development? The first part of this chapter argues that something similar to a Western concept of civil society has emerged in Russia. In explaining the slow emergence of civil society we highlight several interrelated factors. and between Moscow-based and peripheral forces. A second impediment to civil society development unique to the post-communist era has been the kind of capitalism that has taken hold in Russia. In addition to the standard list of barriers from the Soviet era. First.

Scholars generally agree that civil society is a space distinct from the state and the market. illiberal groups that scholars are loath to admit into the holistic embrace of their concept of civil society. In addition. but broad consensus is lacking even with respect to this corpus of ostensibly self-governing. fanatical cults. what do the actors have to do to be part of civil society. voluntary. do not pertain to the Russian case. With respect to the identity of the actors. Many have pointed out that the mere legal status of an NGO does not suffice.4 The temptation to subtract blatantly illiberal elements from the civil sphere becomes stronger when one considers Weimar Germany. and other extremist groups are examples of undemocratic. Associations formed to protect human rights. two of which deserve special attention. the Mafia. or a shared set of norms. voluntary associations). respect for diversity and pluralism. that is. Indeed. we introduce some common conditions that authors have offered to define the limits to the civil society realm and suggest that these. is not a normatively neutral concept and ought not to be divorced from its Western liberal pedigree. we highlight points of contention in the debate and offer our own broader perspective.3 The Ku Klux Klan. Rather than undertaking a comprehensive review of a large literature pertaining to civil society. who can be considered part of civil society.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 137 debated. namely. or otherwise . these entities must meet certain requirements. Civil society.5 We ought to look carefully not merely at the form (that is. and various disadvantaged groups would likely top everyone’s list of model civic actors. that is. which are often formulated as such qualities as openness. while useful for other purposes. between the private and the public spheres. In particular. before we call it civil and consider it a democracy-enhancing phenomenon. they admit. most authors rule them out. scholars and practitioners diverge along numerous dimensions. antidemocratic. the environment. nonprofit associations autonomous of the state. The second concerns the functions of the actors. Sheri Berman’s important analysis of pre-Nazi Germany cautions against equating thriving associational life with democratization or liberalization. where individuals and groups voluntarily organize to collectively pursue their interests or values. The first concerns the identity of the actors. NGOs—nongovernmental organizations—have generally been the focus of attention. but also the character (the values and goals) of public social life. Beyond this loose consensus. Berman’s and others’ accounts of Weimar Germany also demonstrate that determining whether a group is illiberal.

which at one time served totalitarianism. where multiple shades of nationalism complicate the landscape. This problem is particularly true in Russia. Weimar Germany boasted a large number and variety of associations. As Marc Morje Howard succinctly states.138 | Civil Society threatening is not always possible ahead of time. political society refers to those focused on political power.8 Each of these distinctions generates ambiguous cases. is hard. but now seem to have made the leap to supporting pluralistic. embody it. Do we consider a professional association of business people to be part of civil society or economic society? Does a nonparty group organized to elect a specific legislator belong in the civil or the political sphere? Should an organization that receives funds from the state be considered a civil society actor? Does a mass protest organized by an NGO represent a manifestation of civic life or a social movement? Even though these cases are problematic in established democracies.”7 Others argue that civil society must be distinct from or in opposition to the state. and discerning whether organizations such as the new youth movement Walking Together or the nationalist Eurasia movement contradict the pluralist ethos or. We should at the very least suspect our ability to identify such problematic groups. such as business associations and political parties. The same can be said of many Soviet era organizations. marketoriented institutions. In this tripartite typology. Indeed. civil society is the realm of ordinary citizens. who join and participate in groups and associations because of their everyday interests. most of which did not resemble the Ku Klux Klan or other intolerant extremists. Scholars also tend to think of the units of civil society as being grassroots organizations. they are ten times . needs. whereas the main organizations in economic society and political society are elite-based groups. Yet even the seemingly apolitical and harmless groups ultimately contributed to Hitler’s rise and helped serve the fascist cause.6 Scholars often distinguish civil society from economic society and political society. Further uncertainty about the identity of civil society actors arises from more or less rigid distinctions between civil society and other public spheres. “[W]hile political society and economic society are comprised primarily of elite actors and institutions in the pursuit of power or profit. many of these groups were engaged in cultural or recreational activities. on the contrary. and civil society labels those seeking to pursue societal or group interests. and desires. economic society refers to those agents and organizations concerned primarily with increasing their wealth. Still others want to distinguish civil society from mass social movements.

even if legally registered as political parties. civil. A good example is the new youth movement “Walking Together. Any distinctions between the political and civil realms are outright impossible before the collapse of the Soviet Union. insisting on strict autonomy from the state would not be sensible. Excluding other political organizations. and civil activity.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 139 as complicated in a country like Russia after decades of a comprehensive fusion of party and state. and all political. we cannot dispense with all state-backed societal organizations so readily.10 Excluding those political parties that took part in the struggle for power with some chance of winning representation in the 1990s from the ranks of the potential civil society is reasonable. economic. Yet another problematic sector that cuts across the economic. All existing political parties that trace their beginnings to the last years of the Soviet era formed as nonparty organizations. many organizations still receive funds from the government. the media . party-state and society. civic associations that performed the function parties perform in multiparty democracies. the large number of voluntary joiners surely says something about the authentic interests of Russian youth in the organization and in Putin. the proliferation of political parties and the dim electoral prospects of most of them results in confusion about which society they belong to: the political or the civil.” that is. The group attracted an astounding number of members within a short period. While some state-sponsored associations indeed do little more than serve as the mouthpieces and cheerleaders of the Kremlin or local governments. and conducted large-scale activities mostly in support of President Putin. In capitalist democracies. In the post-Soviet era. and dubious at best since.9 To campaign for noncommunist candidates for the elections to the revitalized Congress of People’s Deputies (CPD) in 1989. a civil society of the Russian variety can grow up among groups sponsored by either the post-Soviet state or incubated under Soviet party tutelage. Similarly.” which is rumored to enjoy backing from the Kremlin. Because private sources of funding have been scarce. Just as the anticommunist movement acquired supporters within both dissident circles and official communist organizations. given the formal Communist Party monopoly until the repeal of Article 6 of the constitution guaranteeing that monopoly in 1990. may be drawing the limits on the acceptable goals of actors in a civil society too narrowly. citizens formed “voters’ clubs. following the first partially free and contested elections. Even if launched and sponsored by some in the Kremlin. and political realms is the media sector.

rather than the identity. public interests.”14 The term refers to a spirit of “social connectedness” that ostensibly facilitates cooperation and coordination for the common good. Social connectedness makes for associational life that facilitates effective organization for common. the “renegade” publications that chose to disregard party directives and publish on and for the democratic movement were a vital part of society’s awakening and mobilization. that is. The media may deserve examination in their own right. is the specification of the functions. civil society actors must engage directly with the state. in Robert Putnam’s terms.13 In performing this second function. it builds up trust and connections among citizens. and may be simply an indispensable partner to civil society proper. and the state itself (state-run broadcasts and press). why it has become desirable in the context of democratization. specifically. Activities that build social capital also promote the virtues of democratic citizenship. the function of civil society is to build up “social capital. of the actors.”15 The prominence of democratic values in turn serves to bolster the effective functioning of democratic institutions. These . understanding the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. Scholars and policy makers alike have asserted that civil society is a vital ingredient in transitions to and consolidations of democracy. During the last years of the Soviet era. yet most of these were fully funded by the state. Scholars also maintain that this process also mitigates societal divisions by uniting people across social classes and ethnic divides. such as participating in public life. One other way to define civil society. resulting in a participatory civic ethos.140 | Civil Society can be split up between economic society (private.12 The second kind of argument explains how civil society strengthens democracy vertically by aggregating the preferences of its participants and establishing channels of influence whereby these preferences can be brought to bear on government policy.11 Arguments about civil society’s functions can be divided into two kinds. and another dimension of theoretical disagreement. and tolerating different opinions—the frequently invoked democratic “habits of the heart. Focusing on the function of civil society brings out the reasons why civil society has become so desirable. to be effective. but we should not prematurely close our eyes to the interactions between the media and other elements as activity outside the civil sphere. The first kind of argument posits that civil society strengthens democracy horizontally. and usually with political parties during elections. At the horizontal level. profit-seeking outfits).

Public associations represent those public interests that may not be adequately represented by political parties or economic interest groups. in that state leaders find that behaving in an authoritarian manner is harder when societal actors are easily mobilized to resist state incursions. Russians exhibited one of the lowest rates of organizational membership in the 1990s.16 That is.” At the vertical level. Our lines between political society. and civil society are less . and pursuing common collective goals. families. however. Moreover. then Russia does not have a mature civil society. civil society has two functions: to represent and transmit people’s interests to the government and to act as a constraint on the abuse and misuse of governmental power.18 In concluding that Russian civil society does not meet the ideal type. and circles of friends pursuing purely private goals. sharing. public organizations monitor the state’s activities and communicate information to other actors. Faced with constant exposure and scrutiny. The former comprises individuals. we do not make the opposite claim that civil society does not exist in Russia. government officials are less likely to violate democratic rules of conduct. This broader image comprises all forms of societal activity that can be seen as legitimate representations of citizens’ common interests or values at any level of voluntary organization.17 If a mature civil society is supposed to perform these two kinds of functions. rendering society more governable. and effective representation of societal interests to the state has been notoriously lacking. holding the government accountable to democratic norms and the will of the people. civil society creates another channel of influence for the public via connections with local and national governments. To understand the changes from Soviet society and capture the dynamics of civil society development in Russia requires a broader definition of the term that dispenses with all but the most minimal requirements. The organization of autonomous interest groups in post-communist Russia may not resemble that in American civil society. while the latter comprises groups of citizens expressing. Nor has civil society development in the late Soviet era and post-communist Russian era been linear. economic society. thereby contributing to a general atmosphere of transparency. Increased accountability and responsiveness to people’s interests in turn legitimizes the government. but it also does not resemble Soviet society of twenty years ago. We draw a solid line between private society and civil society.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 141 horizontal dynamics build democracy from “the bottom. An active society is the necessary counterweight to overreaching state power. They appear to distrust one another.

labor unions.19 Although pre-Soviet Russia also privileged the state and limited arenas of autonomous social activity. The 1932 Law on Associations and Stalin’s 1936 constitution firmly eradicated the principle of free association. the Soviet state’s most salient characteristic became the virtual destruction of the space between the individual and the state. We exclude groups in economic society focused only on profit seeking and political parties from our analysis. The destruction or absorption of most public nonstate activities appeared complete after Stalin’s rise to power in the 1920s. factory and collective directors. focusing on those events.” Official institutions were extremely hierarchical. Instead. .20 The relationship between society and the state established by the maturing communist regime became a one-way street of dictatorial “democratic centralism. institutions. public associations. however.142 | Civil Society solid. In keeping with ideological dictates. because organized behavior autonomous from the state is still so novel and so rare in post-communist Russia. and his reign of terror effectively discouraged any overly enterprising independent initiatives. allowed genuine NGOs to exist. We do. consider groups that have one foot in civil society and the other in either economic or political society. our broad conception makes no a priori assumptions about what a civil society does: it may or may not contribute to the health of a democratic polity. especially from 1861 on. pluralism and organization for the sake of any particularistic interest had no place in a communist society. religious groups. the space that the building blocks of civil society would occupy: social networks. so that all social exchanges were carried out under the guise of the party-state. and socioeconomic factors that contributed to the rise and decline of civil society in Russia in the last two decades. These institutions were either rooted out altogether or subordinated to the sprawling state and Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) structures. clubs. our main concern is to explain the evolution of civil society. even the czars. with union leaders. Moreover. private businesses. The Soviet Legacy No political system has ever been more hostile to civil society than the totalitarian communist regime erected by Stalin. Because Marxist theory predicted an end to all political and social conflict after the proletarian revolution. and so on.

Because nonstate organizations were illegal.25 A small number of brave. in the aftermath of World War II. seeking sympathizers and allies. communicating their views primarily through samizdat.24 Some nationalities in the republics and minority ethnic groups scattered throughout the USSR began to express open dissatisfaction with the Soviet suppression of their national or ethnic cultures. the demographic and social changes from the 1950s to the 1980s transformed the passive and inarticulate peasant society of the pre-Stalin era into an industrial society with a more complex social structure and an educated. the sole determinant of the country’s course. After Stalin’s death. this rigid hierarchy did not allow the official organizations and institutions to claim much autonomy from the state. All reform and change in the Soviet Union originated strictly from above and. modernized population. combined with an increased level of education. The Soviet system intended to destroy all independent public life and nearly succeeded in doing so. fostered independent initiatives all over the USSR. but helped to control society in practice. The Soviet system created myriad social organizations that mimicked civic organizations in name. Some suggest that civil society began to reemerge during the “golden age” of Leonid Brezhnev’s rule.23 Similar informal groups of intellectuals. and youth became more numerous and noticeable in the decades following Stalin’s death. and informal intelligentsia groups composed of scientists. or constituting any significant force. as with Stalinist mass collectivization and industrialization. writers.22 Even as early as the late 1940s. albeit with short and shallow breaths. starting in the realm of religion and national identity and extending into areas of culture and ecology. . but state terror and strict indoctrination successfully prevented informal networks from publicly articulating opinions different from official doctrines. dissident individuals and groups openly challenged the Soviet system. Beginning in the 1960s.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 143 and other heads of organizations responding to the Communist Party-state. self-published critical literature on forbidden subjects. an anti-Stalinist underground was born in the larger cities made up almost entirely of students and children of the repressed. the reduced readiness of the Soviet government to use force against its citizens. allowing society to breathe again.21 Even the Stalinist state could not stifle private expressions of dissent. especially in the expanding urban centers. technical elites. and other professionals began to challenge Stalinist taboos. at great cost to society. Alongside a change in leadership. the constraints of the Soviet system loosened somewhat.

Reacting to the forbidding conditions created by the regime. Key dissident figures such as Andrei Sakharov. are unlikely ever to receive mass support in the USSR. taken as a whole. To the extent that organized social groups did exist outside the family. they were atomized. Alexander Solzhenitsyn.” dissent merely denotes objections to existing rules and rulers. The seeds of dissent sown as the rigid Stalinist structure began to crumble did not grow into fullscale democratic—or any other—opposition because of the divide between those who originated the dissenting ideas and those who had the numerical force to support and act on them. The dissident movement was also an elite affair. one of the most astute observers of Soviet dissident movements wrote. the urban and rural working classes did not try to establish unions independent of the Party or join forces with other societal groups to achieve change.26 Peter Reddaway has drawn a useful distinction between dissent and opposition. since their goals were not confrontational and their numbers were small. but showed no inclination to realize such opposition on a mass basis. indirectly undermining the Soviet system. Whereas opposition implies “an aspiration to rule in place of existing rulers. dissidents focused more on creating a parallel or autonomous society rather than one engaged with and trying to influence the state.28 The state continued to harass and suppress proto-civil society groups. Millions resisted passively.144 | Civil Society They did not explicitly call for the overthrow of the Soviet government. Yet overt mass challenges to the state remained limited and sporadic even decades after Stalin’s death. they were “in large measure a function of elite politics and cleavage” and not of public pressure or opinion. “[T]he mainstream liberals [the intelligentsia dissidents] are numerically weak and … their values. but strove to create an atmosphere of freer discussion and to protect the rights of those still persecuted by the party-state.27 Thus Brezhnev era dissidents did not constitute an opposition. through petty corruption and the steady growth of the black market. for instance. Except for a few spontaneous demonstrations and strikes. Whenever progressive or reformist initiatives were introduced from the top. apolitical.”30 . and Roy Medvedev offered up manifestos of opposition through their writings. and purposely sought to avoid rather than to influence the state.29 Evaluating the prospects of a democratic opposition from society in the mid-1970s. The semi-informal associations that began forming after Stalin’s death were almost completely the products of a small section of urban intelligentsia.

with the exception of business associa- . Between 1988 and 1989. Responses from Below to Reform from Above In the increasingly permissive climate of openness. revolution. young political parties. a wave of labor activism also swept the Soviet Union. Most of these first groups were relatively apolitical. and spontaneous mass actions. and Democratic Perestroika. Nonstate associations began to appear as early as 1985. Glasnost permitted the publication and discussion of previously taboo subjects. eventually. spawning independent unions and setting off mass labor strikes nationwide. a political discussion group organized by the intelligentsia.”31 Triggered by miners’ strikes in Ukraine in 1989. rights advocacy groups. and social problems. By 1989. New parliaments organized and quasi parties sprouted. some forming networks. but access to the Soviet state remained restricted. or as Steven Fish dubbed them. Although Gorbachev’s reforms allowed nonstate organizations to form. independent groups mushroomed. dedicated to uncovering Stalin era horrors. Furthermore. the structure of the Soviet economy and society could not deliver a real autonomous space or independent resources for these new entities. revealing its own weakness and contradictions. changes in the Soviet criminal code no longer punished political assembly and demonstration. The first organizations with openly political goals organized later and included such notable new groups as Memorial.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 145 The Gorbachev Years Within six years of coming to power. Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms created the permissive conditions for the emergence of quasi-civil society within the Soviet Union. Soviet society came alive through the formation of numerous voluntary and professional associations. education. independent trade unions. Gorbachev’s reforms established only partial and imperfect institutional channels for communicating societal demands to the state. To generate new allies and launch his perestroika. devoted to culture. The result was polarization between state and society and. This inaccessible state gradually lost the capacity to respond to societal demands. and partially free elections and the repeal of Article 6 officially ended the Communist Party’s monopoly on power. “parties-in-waiting. Gorbachev initiated sweeping reform measures with the objective of liberalizing Soviet society. which therefore remained somewhat dependent on the state.

including a political society (incipient . held primarily in the spring of 1990. The rapid growth of NGOs continued throughout the last two years of the Gorbachev era. The same activist groups tested their mobilization skills a year later during elections for republic. The electoral process produced an unprecedented whirl of societal mobilization. is unquestionable. anticommunist forces captured solid majorities in the new parliaments. for instance. tens of thousands of organizations had registered with the government. city. reflecting the decades of stifled demands from a sophisticated society shackled by an outdated Soviet regime. the candidates supported by new civil society groups achieved greater electoral success than in 1989. The Social Democratic Party of Russia. pro-perestroika organizations convened. That society began a life of its own. During these elections. the Democratic Party of Russia.146 | Civil Society tions. In Russia. many proto–civil society organizations could already be discerned. the perceived leader of the democratic opposition. drawing a distinction between civil and political society would have been somewhat arbitrary at this juncture. Soviet society was playing a direct and powerful role in politics. some of whom won seats to the Soviet Congress. Loosely-based voter clubs organized around specific candidates. oblast. won election as chairman of the Russian Congress. a few intelligentsia-led groups transformed themselves into political parties. By 1990. Democratic Russia. and noncommunist. won hundreds of seats in the Russian Congress of People’s Deputies and controlled majorities in the Moscow and Leningrad city soviets. electoral clubs sprouted. Gorbachev’s decision to permit partially free elections to the Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies in 1989 provided the first opportunity for societal forces to try influencing politics directly. the experience of participation for this first generation of nonstate. After a century of noninvolvement. and several others were born in this way. Media criticism exploded. the Constitutional Democratic Party. Although the number of successful candidates produced from the grassroots was small.33 After the repeal in 1990 of Article 6 of the Soviet Constitution.32 Boris Yeltsin. and district soviets. Even if Western labels cannot adequately describe the forms of societal activity at the close of the Soviet era. proto-organizations existed that fit the conventional categories. In the Baltic republics. a newly organized opposition movement.34 Even when some organizations began to call themselves parties. apart from close tutelage from the communist state. non–Communist Party activists proved pivotal.

including demands for increased wages for miners. and pressures to grant the republics greater control over their territories. the activated societal forces reinforced Gorbachev’s reform program. demonstrations to rescind Article 6 of the constitution. Beginning in the fall of 1990. The embrace of new societal activism by Gorbachev’s government was not unequivocal. soon exceeded Gorbachev’s own reform agenda as societal actors bent on truly revolutionary change began to oppose the traditional ruling leaders and institutions of the Soviet state. For instance. Gorbachev and his government also responded to issues presented through mass actions. and economic society (legalized cooperatives and covert business ventures). whom he increasingly saw as alternative allies for perestroika against the conservative.35 Gorbachev also made a conscious attempt to convey his openness to their ideas to the intellectual elites: in a grand gesture he telephoned Andrei Sakharov in exile and personally invited him to return to Moscow to continue his work.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 147 parties and electoral campaigns). therefore. the KGB still forcibly repressed early public demonstrations orchestrated by Democratic Union. or even to Poland’s Solidarity. Instead of dialogue between state and society. a civil society (NGOs). The kind and pace of change demanded from below. At this moment. He sanctioned the appointment of progressive editors of several popular publications. Democratic Russia and popular fronts in other republics pressed for the destruction of the Soviet regime. Gorbachev appeared to reach out to the new. Instead of seeking to win recognition of societal interests through incipient representative channels (that is. calls for the creation of a Russian presidency. This kind of societal organization was not a parallel to civil societies in Western democracies. predicting that this flurry of activity would settle into functional emulations of these elements of a Western capitalist-democratic order was not unreasonable. independent groups and budding parties. Early in his tenure. new legislative bodies). Societal forces in the Baltic republics were the first to organize and successfully challenge Soviet rule. however. who were encouraged to publish freely and to explore previously taboo subjects. The Disconnect Between State and Society Initially. Yeltsin and Democratic Russia followed the Baltic example and directly challenged Soviet sovereignty. the first organization in . polarization and confrontation ensued. mid-level Communist Party bureaucracy.

but Yeltsin and the Russian Congress enjoyed the open and active support of a visibly mobilized population. The same happened after the creation of an autonomous. officials actually created some to counteract those real nongovernmental groups that proved too progressive for the communist regime. pro-communist agenda. Democratic Russia and its allies proved capable of assembling hundreds of thousands of people in the streets of major urban centers. The absence of an effective partnership between the state and society only spawned revolutionary events when society captured control over parts of the state—the republic-level governments—after the spring 1990 elections. In the final showdown between the Soviet and Russian states—the attempted coup in August 1991 by conservative forces within Gorbachev’s government—societal mobilization proved decisive in securing victory for Yeltsin’s side. connections between the Soviet state and Russian society wore increasingly thin.148 | Civil Society 1988 to declare itself an alternative political party. The last year of the USSR marked the apogee of Russian civil society. At critical moments. but it did occur where it mattered most—the Russian Federation. nascent noncommunist political parties. When the coal miners organized another series of debilitating strikes in the spring of 1991. The fact that Gorbachev never sought to base his leadership on a popular mandate also underscored the differences between the two competing states. By the time Yeltsin became Russia’s first elected president in June 1991. it was his third electoral victory in as many years. democratic cooperatives trade union. After Yeltsin’s election as chairman of the Russian CPD. or even most. Throughout various confrontations between Soviet and Russian authorities in the fall of 1990 and spring of 1991. This capture did not occur in all. . but whereas Yeltsin and his allies in the Russian Congress had strong ties to societal organizations such as Democratic Russia. soon after the creation of a new independent lawyers’ union. actors from outside the Communist Party or the Soviet state were able to decisively influence the course of history. Soviet state structures still controlled most coercive resources. of the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union. and the independent trade unions. the Ministry of Justice launched the USSR Union of Lawyers. they called for the intervention of the Russian government. believing that the Soviet government would not (or could no longer) meet their demands. For example. which had a clearly conservative. While the state allowed many other organizations to develop unobstructed. Russian society could choose engagement with two states in place of one.

and the first post-Soviet elections did not take place until December 1993. After the collapse of the Soviet Union. Less turbulent forms of interest articulation.36 After 1991. As attention turned to economic transformation in the winter of 1992. Consequently. He wasted no time on building links with formal political society—a pro-reform. Yeltsin’s government wanted to demobilize society.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 149 The Yeltsin Era The collapse of the Soviet Union meant mission accomplished for many in Russia’s democratic movement.37 The objective of Yeltsin’s government was therefore to create a more autonomous state. were important symptoms of societal awakening. Yeltsin did not call for new elections after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the most conspicuous contrast. so that it could conduct radical market reforms protected from societal pressures. The following August. at least from the perspective of those now sitting in the Kremlin. On this set of issues. During these revolutionary times. the most visible societal participation took spontaneous. but direct. and confrontational expression of public demands received the most attention. Russian society rarely spoke as loud or with as much determination as it did prior to the USSR’s collapse. such as elections or grassroots petitions. A mobilized society would actively resist and perhaps thwart reforms in response to economic hardships. the standard of living would have to fall in the short term for the vast majority of Russians. the most active. a small but vociferous minority in Moscow acted to block the coup attempt and legitimated Yeltsin’s moves to dissolve the USSR in December 1991. a solid majority of Russian citizens voted for the preservation of the USSR in the spring of 1991. noninstitutionalized forms—on the streets and down the mineshafts—rather than lobbying or voting. physical actions of protest or support trumped these incipient civic practices. vocal. civil society previously mobilized in opposition to the Soviet regime had little role to play. . Some of his advisers even called for an interim dictatorship until the painful process of economic transformation had been completed. NGOs were still poor and inexperienced. During the transition to market capitalism. issues of economic transformation became most salient. pro-presidential political party never materialized. and parties were just forming. The State’s New Agenda Even at the peak of societal involvement in the state’s affairs.

reformist constituencies within society. Yeltsin and his team devoted their energies to strengthening the executive branch of government at the federal and regional levels. Yeltsin believed that co-opting socalled red directors and former CPSU bosses in the regions was more vital to his economic reform agenda. Yeltsin gave little support to Democratic Russia. radically breaking with the Soviet legacy. however. the Law on Philanthropic Activities and Organizations. Society’s Response The Soviet Party-state created and controlled the trade unions. Yeltsin and his team refrained from encouraging or allying with grassroots. a strategy that required open cooperation with regional leaders. and peaceful assembly—without which a civil society could not meaningfully exist. To say that the aim of Yeltsin’s policies was to demobilize society and insulate the state from societal pressures is not to imply that Yeltsin or his government also sought to suppress societal activity or re-subordinate it to the state. the state. with presidential backing. who were previously considered to be conservative and antidemocratic. and youth clubs and owned all enterprises.38 In 1995. but complete .150 | Civil Society Instead. and even in opposition to. Yeltsin’s general political strategy for economic reform involved co-opting elites and interest groups formed under the Soviet regime while at the same time promoting new elite interest groups. they legally enabled society to act independently of. the Duma passed three laws—the Law on Public Associations. In particular. the very organization that had helped him come to power. religion. at this stage.40 Western analysts frequently dismiss these as mere organizational vestiges of Soviet times. Some of the survivors also acquired autonomy from the state and began to resemble interest groups and civic organizations. hoping instead that society as a whole would resume its familiar passive disengagement from the government’s activity. and have often proven to be discriminatory and obstructive to the proliferation of independent activity. On the contrary. many of these organizations survived. the 1993 constitution provided for the protection of basic civil liberties—the freedoms of speech.39 These and other relevant laws were not masterpieces of jurisprudence. set the rules governing their activities. press. After the collapse of the communist system. and the Law on Noncommercial Organizations—that secured the legal standing of independent groups. association. women’s organizations. Instead. and outlined their rights.

was as firmly committed to thwarting the state’s plans for privatization as were enterprise managers.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 151 dismissal is a mistake. So was the Civic Union. more independent associations.41 Mikhail Khordokovsky. Instead. Komsomol leaders cashed in their contacts. The Soviet women’s organization also dissolved and gave way to new women’s groups.44 This coalition should not be thought of as a reactionary force mobilized to stop or reverse capitalist reform. One step toward this ownership structure consisted of a universal distribution of vouchers. The national coalition of trade unions. acquired his starting capital from the Komsomol. privileges. Those organizations that survived must have offered some incentives to their members that other avenues did not. lost nearly all its members and resources. a coalition of interest groups. and interest groups. the directors enjoyed the support of Soviet-era trade unions. Because the mechanics of social welfare provision during the Soviet period tied the fortunes of the workers of these enterprises with those of the enterprise itself. Yeltsin’s original privatization blueprint hoped to create American-style corporations in which outsiders would own the majority of shares and would trade them publicly on open stock markets. or at least premature. The directors’ corps of Soviet enterprises disliked this plan and used its organizational resources to resist it and maintain their insider “ownership. As devised by Anatoly Chubais and his team at the State Committee on Property. the Soviet survivors proved much more effective in influencing the state than the new.”43 They consolidated ranks and allied with other societal elements. Instead of working within this Soviet era organization to advance their interests. the Komsomol. its organization and goals were perfectly consistent with what the . and for much of the 1990s they also crowded out new. the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR). Given their inheritance of organizational expertise and resources. these groups seemed to represent real interests of real people. whereby every Russian could purchase shares in privatizing enterprises. organizations. often Western-supported NGOs. privatization was one issue that greatly animated the communist-era civic groups in the early 1990s. and resources to make big money as business people in the quasi market. because in the initial years after the collapse. political parties. and parliamentary factions associated with the expired Soviet order. the richest man in Russia. the once powerful and wide-reaching youth group created and controlled by the CPSU.42 As an example. Among those Soviet organizations that did not survive the collapse.

Societal groups originally organized by the Soviet party-state. and most certainly was not the program that Chubais wanted to implement. in the next round of privatization of Russia’s most profitable firms—the so-called loansfor-shares program—these interest groups played almost no role.47 Obstacles to the Development of a Western-Style Civil Society If some Soviet era organizations and interest groups managed to reconstitute and press their agendas after the Soviet collapse. According to U. Likewise. thwarting efforts at macroeconomic stabilization for several years. this same set of Soviet-era interest groups succeeded in obtaining government credits and subsidies for most of the 1990s. Through its strong links to important factions in the Russian Congress of People’s Deputies. The outcome of this major battle in the reform war was not the preference of Yeltsin’s liberal reformers. now adapting to the new economic and political institutions of the post-Soviet era. In sheer numbers. After achieving control of these enterprises. Their tactics and goals. For instance. many of the new elements of proto-civil society that sprouted during the Gorbachev era did not. Even though the first State Duma—the new parliamentary organ created by the constitution—proved to be no less sympathetic to the directors’ corps and its allies than its disobedient predecessor.45 The state was not immune from organized societal pressure. had successfully pressured the state for an outcome that took their interests into account. the NGO sector—the heart of the paradigmatic civil society—has grown significantly in post-Soviet Russia.S. the directors’ corps and its allies succeeded in amending the privatization law to permit insider privatization. . if not their origins. certainly resembled the tactics and goals of paradigmatic civil society actors. the new super-presidential constitution allowed the president to overpower the Duma and its allies on most contentious issues. the coalition’s limited success should be considered in part a victory for society rather than a setback to reformers in the state.46 It was only institutional change of the Russian state—the adoption of the 1993 constitution—that weakened the influence and power of these interest groups. The alliance of trade unions and a nongovernmental political movement (Civic Union) with a more traditional business association (the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs) is what makes this political and social mobilization in response to privatization seem like something in between economic and civil society.152 | Civil Society West would refer to as economic society.

they united to provide Yeltsin’s campaign with virtually unlimited resources. the oligarchic layer overshadowed poorer and newer societal elements.52 Together with the aforementioned Soviet era economic actors. Business groups always constitute the most organized sector of society in capitalist democracies. What politicians need the endorsement of a women’s organization when they have the support of multibillionaires? What politicians endorsed by even the most influ- . the imbalance between the power of these groups and all others was striking. In return for its support. the NGO sector “has grown dramatically” from only 30 to 40 registered organizations in 1987 to about 238. the kind of capitalism and the kind of state to emerge in post-communist Russia are the two most salient factors. the sector’s financial resources were negligible. especially in national politics. In addition. some of them old—have contributed to the problem. the new oligarchic class was rewarded with considerable representation within the Russian state.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 153 Agency for International Development statistics. the only new social layer that acquired disproportionate resources and influence. societal attitudes—some of them new.48 However. The oligarchs’ influence over the state was demonstrated most dramatically during the 1996 presidential election. but they bear cataloguing. and the number of groups that established and maintained effective channels of influence on government structures amounted to no more than a handful. most indicators of this sector’s actual functions. which privileged some groups not traditionally identified under the rubric of civil society. as well as its poor and volatile performance. The economic society that grew up under Yeltsin has been deeply inimical to new entrants into civic and political life apart from the dominant class of oligarchs.51 In the first decade of Russia’s postSoviet existence. if only to appreciate the difficult landscape the enterprising citizen needs to brave to build a civil society. reach.49 Other estimates indicate that fewer than 2 percent of the population were involved in public organizations by the end of Yeltsin’s rule. The organization of the new economy. has not been conducive to civil society development.000 by the end of 1998.50 The obstacles are perhaps obvious and not unexpected in a country undergoing extensive transformations. In addition to the Soviet legacy. Surveys indicate that few people—one of the highest estimates is 8 percent of the population—participate in NGOs. and influence remained uninspiring throughout the decade: a minute fraction of citizens became engaged in civic or associational life. Although divided in the past over both political issues and markets.

55 The Mafia networks and the consolidation of large financial-industrial groups created monopoly control over many markets.000. multiple obstacles. and continues to face. has been extremely depoliticized. Finally. rendering them impenetrable. People had neither the time nor the money to support public goods when the acquisition of private goods was such a struggle. the limited independent organization that it has endeavored to undertake has been mostly for the sake of protecting narrow interests and. a country with less than a quarter of Russia’s population. The World Bank’s comparative investigation of state capture placed Russia at the top. or mortgage system. entrepreneurial sector faced. the lack of liberalization. small-scale. While Russia’s middle class grew throughout the 1990s. the exorbitant taxes. to the aspiring middle class. It has .56 While the managers and workers of formerly state-owned enterprises have taken their interests into legislative politics and lobbying. in contrast with Soviet era economic groups. The unclear government regulations. such as a functioning banking.154 | Civil Society ential NGO have a chance if they do not have the financial backing that accompanies endorsement by an oligarch? The dearth of rules governing the financing of parties and political formations also has encouraged a blatant buying of candidates and parties by wealthy commercial interests. Russia had roughly 900. courts. and the quasi-feudal regimes at the local level were not welcoming to small and inexperienced entrepreneurs. and the instability of the Russian economy have combined to create an unfriendly environment for the small business person. the old dinosaurs and new tycoons also have been stifling the development of small businesses. even among other formerly communist countries. Thus those intent on staying afloat on the waves of Russia’s turbulent capitalism have had no spare time or resources to devote to civic activism. the absence of enterprise-supporting structures. that is. and downright dangerous.54 The nascent. by the end of Yeltsin’s tenure. In addition to outdoing any capacity by other societal actors to influence the political process.53 While Poland. boasted more than 2 million private enterprises (excluding agriculture) by 1996. middle-class economic actors prefer to protect their interests outside the realm of politics and without involving the state. of the middle class that tends to support civil society in mature capitalist economies.57 Resources for nonessential activities were scarce for most of the population during the bulk of the 1990s as the country’s economy endured a severe depression.

rarely proved to be an effective strategy.59 A functioning judicial system is one of the key support institutions for civil society: nonstate actors need the courts to serve as reliable means of redress and clear and enforceable laws to provide stable rules of operation. the budget deficits and the state’s growing . the natural partners of societal actors. these advisory councils camouflaged.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 155 become a cliché—but nonetheless applicable—to say that in the new Russia. followed by the strengthening of executives at the regional level. rather than attended to. Yeltsin’s imposition of a presidential system. the new Russian regime has yet to establish a reliably functioning judiciary and law enforcement corps. however. created so-called “social chambers. Civic groups are conventionally thought to be more successful at collaborating with parliaments than with executives. Yeltsin. Whereas the super-presidency and the weak rule of law made Yeltsin’s state appear to be unresponsive. has limited opportunities for influence and engagement by civic organizations. Contradictions between federal and regional laws also obfuscate the rules of the game for citizens seeking legal resolutions of their concerns. along with several governors and mayors. communists. the persistent divide between the state and civil society. Allying with members of the legislature.58 Although the parliament elected in 1993 housed neonationalists. resulting in long delays for the cases that are brought before them. The salaries of judges and other personnel have been woefully insufficient. as they have been for law enforcement. Russia’s socioeconomic structure is probably the greatest handicap for civil society. In addition. Russia’s young civil society has not had the luxury of either. the president and his government remained relatively autonomous from the legislative branch in defining and administering public policies.” allegedly as compensation for weak representative bodies and meant to bridge the gap between civic groups and executive power. This arrangement carried a clear message for nonstate actors: if a group sought real influence over major policy decisions. and basic necessities (such as heat or photocopying machines). which results in a high incidence of bribe taking and corruption. it needed to reach the executive branch. The organization of the state is also not conducive to greater societal involvement in political life. With few exceptions. Insufficient resources and corruption have made the courts unreliable venues for civic activism. and liberals. personnel. The courts have been crippled by a shortage of funds. for most people mere survival is a full-time occupation that leaves little room for collective pursuits.

political parties play a marginal role in Russian politics.60 Tax collection itself became a symbolic process. Parties lucky enough to win Duma seats contributed to the gap between elite party leadership and society as they became eligible for state organizational and administrative support for reelection and no longer needed the aid of societal groups. the bureaucracy grew in size as persistently as federal tax revenues dropped and the capacity to provide public goods declined. welfare and education. security firms. that is. The visible decline in the state’s capacities discouraged societal actors from engaging government and turned them “inward. Regionally based parties have had little influence at the federal level. no party can claim to represent broad societal interests or to translate regional concerns into national politics. societal pressure on that state is unlikely to produce tangible results. As discussed in chapter 5. such as security. Even if Yeltsin’s government had been attuned to demands other than those of rent-seeking corporate groups. even lower than the underdeveloped nations of Sub-Saharan Africa. The average citizen became more likely to turn to personal. and private armies assumed major responsibilities for providing security. Basic services traditionally provided by the Soviet state. Contractual arrangements had to be self-enforcing to succeed. Mafias. For most of the 1990s. all kinds of societal groups looked simply to fill the gap in service and goods provision left by the unreformed state and neglected by the market. or even criminal. networks for solutions to problems rather than to government agencies— and much rather than to fledgling public organizations attempting to engage government agencies.” Instead of lobbying government. and “national” parties created by insider elites have not been able to offer much to their members in the regions. the Commonwealth of Independent States ranked last in the World Bank’s 1997 World Development Report in the category of state performance of core functions. the weakness of political parties. in essence challenging the state’s monopoly on the use of force. They also have weak ties with the grassroots. . virtually ceased to be public goods. State employees had to negotiate and strike just to be paid for work they had already completed.61 When the state lacks the capacity to carry out these core functions. The underdevelopment of political society. By the beginning of Yeltsin’s second term. has constituted a further difficulty for strengthening civil society. With the possible exception of the Communist Party. the post-Soviet state apparatus lacked the capacity to meet most demands.156 | Civil Society ineffectiveness made it appear incapable of any substantive response.

Civic organizations have seen little benefit from participating in the electoral process. and not some positive agenda. such as the oligarchs and government insiders. Second. What united many of them in the last years of Gorbachev’s tenure was their opposition to the Soviet regime. Economic and political structures alone do not account for the absence of a civically active citizenry.62 In Russia. Note that the political parties. the raison d’être of the civic groups mobilized to achieve systemic change also disappears. all citizens were forced to participate in many kinds of party-mandated organizations. and the police enjoyed significantly lower levels of trust than the churches and the armed forces. the trade unions. Russians themselves do their share. the demobilization effect is reinforced by another Soviet legacy: ingrained mistrust among the population.65 Even compared with other post-communist societies. but the freedom not to participate.64 Public opinion surveys showed low levels of trust for all major state and nonstate institutions throughout the 1990s.66 During seven decades of communism.63 This mistrust is aimed primarily at officialdom. while political parties have discerned no electoral benefit from catering to insignificant civic groups. thus their mission expired with the Soviet Union. parties have sought electoral resources from other outlets. Instead. Marc Morje Howard also finds evidence for a preference . the regional and local governments. the parliament. as did their followers. Moreover. The first barrier in this regard is the demobilization effect common to all states undergoing radical transformation. When the old system falls. trust between citizens in Russia is comparatively low. and therefore both justifiably perceive each other as weak and ineffective partners. the courts. Thus it is not surprising that for many people freedom after the collapse came to signify not the freedom to participate in public organizations. but also at all people and institutions outside people’s own circle of intimates.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 157 Neither parties nor NGOs of a liberal-democratic orientation succeeded in influencing electoral and policy outcomes in the 1990s. yet it is these least trusted institutions that a civil society needs to engage. while NGOs have tended to avoid the electoral process altogether. unmet expectations on the part of those who did demonstrate to bring down communism made people less willing to organize a second time in the post-communist era. Democratic Russia and groups like it had difficulty making the transition to “normal” politics in the post-Soviet era. from the Komsomol to trade and professional unions and cultural and sports clubs. Democratic Russia and its allies seemed to have fulfilled their mandate when communism collapsed.

158 | Civil Society for small “friendship networks” rather than for formal. grassroots society requires further empirical investigation to determine its scope and whether we have overstated its importance. and ecological disasters. Russia’s new societal actors may be performing functions that Westerners would not associate with civil society.68 Because groups concerned with welfare provision are mostly small and formed on a local grassroots basis. and post-Soviet citizens are reluctant to give up support that has proven effective in the past. basic human rights. Thus new associations stepped in to cope with problems of immediate importance to ordinary citizens: nutrition. but that are nonetheless vital to the sustainability of the new market and democratic order. poverty. This function of the new. health and sanitation. The market did not step in to fill that gap and citizens have had to fend for themselves. another less obvious barrier may be at work: our own analytical lens. less personal organizations. Many of these organizations have sprung up almost on an ad hoc basis as problems of this nature arose to make life livable for communities. populations have always had to ensure their own survival. The collapse of the Soviet welfare safety net and the new socioeconomic conditions opened up a huge gap between people’s needs and the state’s ability or willingness to address them.”69 This focus on basic needs and urgent problems. In addition to these hindrances. Also in need of further investigation is the possibility that these welfare-enhancing organizations have evolved to mediate between the state and society. Some research into this function of Russia’s civil society suggests that public associations formed during the Yeltsin era are quite important to achieve “a climate of self-generated social welfare to replace the paternalistic model of state provision. in previously communist countries we can justifiably regard organizing for social welfare provision as an assertion of greater independence and an expression of increasing societal activism. rather than on interest representation or lobbying for policy change. The state took full responsibility for basic welfare only in formerly communist and socialist regimes. nongovernmental. shelter. a function more in line with the normative expectations .67 Soviet citizens learned to trust no one and rely on no one outside these essentially private networks. In new democracies without the legacy of such extensive statism. a preference that is markedly stronger in Russia than in other post-communist countries. may constitute a distinctly post-Soviet way for a society to assert its autonomy from the state. Consequently. little reliable information is available about the extent of their activities or the magnitude of their impact.

Threatening Civil Society Putin has often made statements championing the development of civil society. This congress of civic groups held in the Kremlin brought together thousands of civic leaders with representatives of the state. in November 2001. Putin identified the “establishment of civil society structures in the regions” as one of their eight basic responsibilities. Putin’s concept of civil society. co-opted them in other spheres.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 159 of civil society theorists.71 The Putin Era Since Putin became Russia’s second post-communist president in the spring of 2000. Addressing his representatives in the newly created supra-federal districts on their first anniversary. What has seemed to change is the government’s policy regarding civil society. Putin once told a group of Media-Most . Russian citizens have continued to rely on their extensive social networks to deal with economic hardship. none of the structural or institutional impediments to the development of civil society have weakened or changed fundamentally. he met with representatives from various organizations and emphasized the importance of a “positive dialogue between the state and civil society. however. some re-mobilization can be seen at the elite level and less at the grassroots levels. regulations. Putin’s state has curbed the activity of nongovernmental actors in some areas. Western type of civil society. far from the paradigmatic vision described earlier. and laws whose effect has been to restrict the power and reach of civil society even further. including Putin.70 In addition. Some have speculated that these social networks could become the bases of a more vibrant.” as well as the former’s responsibility to support the latter. and rendered the institutional environment less friendly to civic activism in general. Putin and his team have introduced new policies. which if it involves societal activism and participation is of a state-supporting kind. Most dramatically.72 In June 2000. Whereas Yeltsin showed benign neglect. In response. is. The spectacle of Putin on the same podium as human rights activist Lyudmila Alekseeva appeared to be a historic moment in Russian state-society relations. his staff organized the Civic Forum.

in post-Soviet Russia the sources of human rights abuses changed. accused those who were publicly critical of the Kremlin in connection with Gazprom’s takeover of the private television station (NTV) of seeking to “shatter the Presidential Administration. He champions a fundamentally state-centric view. things get a little worse. criticism or embarrassment of the state could only be the latter. will be a lot worse.73 Sergei Markov. but the human rights movement retained its traditional Soviet era human rights ideology. and . Markov wrote: In Soviet times. noting that the way to battle these perpetrators is to side with the state.160 | Civil Society journalists that their job was to support the state. “Every day under Putin. but as a blatant campaign of antistate activity. has identified “overcoming opposition of society” as one of Putin’s main current challenges.” Sergei Karaganov. In a typical expression of this view.74 Markov went on to identify powerful “interest” groups as the real abusers of human rights. dividing activity in every sphere into pro-state and antistate. Similarly. a “positive dialogue” with the state requires public organizations to work toward the same goals as the state. and eventually. but also to political and economic society. offers a fitting testament to Putin’s views.75 The opposing “society” here applies not only to civil. That is why the human rights movement in the USSR naturally crystallized in an atmosphere of profound mistrust of the Soviet State. According to Lev Ponomarev.” In other words. long-time human rights activist.”76 Under Putin. which is making an earnest effort to “bridle the ‘interest’ groups. However. The strategy of Putin’s government appears to be to eliminate as many opposing actors from the political playing field as possible and to create what some of his advisers call “managed democracy. Addressing alleged problems within the human rights movement. director of the Institute of Europe. director of the Institute for Political Studies and one of the organizers of the Civic Forum. the Federal Security Service (FSB). Russia has seen increased harassment of NGOs and other independent entities by the police.” The NGO community has asserted generally that the government’s treatment of civil society has worsened since Putin assumed the presidency. it was the State that was the main abuser of human rights. Putin’s one-time political adviser. Putin sees criticism not as an exercise of the freedom of speech. Gleb Pavlovsky.

such as the Glasnost Defense Foundation. which was denied registration all over the country. claiming that one-third of all ecological and human rights NGOs have ceased to be legal entities as a result. the groups that have challenged government policies in the past. which have now been subordinated to the FSB. a human rights watchdog.78 The Glasnost Public Foundation has identified human rights and environmental organizations and independent trade unions.77 The registration process is deliberately complex. Several human rights NGOs. The re-registration process is not impartial: the government appears to have targeted organizations that could potentially be problematic for the state. The Glasnost Public Foundation. only 58 percent of the previously registered number. 1999. and assaults on media sources unfriendly to the Kremlin. can be shut down by a court order at any time. citing official Ministry of Justice statistics that as of the deadline. organizations must prove the existence of office space and representation in at least forty-six of the eighty-nine regions. Many of the tools the state agencies use to curb undesirable activities originated under Yeltsin. The most common tactic for curbing civic activity is for the Ministry of Justice to turn down registration and re-registration applications. Prominent environmental activist Alexander Nikitin agrees. Nevertheless. The 1997 Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations passed under . meaning that the government has plenty of “legal” reasons for denying registration to any given group. had registered at the federal level.79 Nontraditional religious groups have also come under attack. denial of mandatory registrations to legitimate NGOs. they were instructed to remove the “protection of citizens’ rights” from their mission and goal statements on the grounds that protecting citizens’ rights is the business of the state. therefore placing all the blame for acts belligerent to civil society on Putin and his government would be misleading. Putin’s ascendancy to power has been accompanied by a perceptible change in atmosphere. those NGOs that were not registered by June 30. including some of the oldest NGOs. reported that when they tried to re-register. the Glasnost Defense Foundation. arrests of and legal suits initiated against prominent activists. as prime targets. a group that defends independent media. and Memorial. asserts that “nearly half of non-governmental organizations” were “eradicated” before this deadline. Among other requirements.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 161 the tax collecting authorities. including Ecology and Human Rights. According to the new law on public associations.

the authorities tried to ban another Pentecostal group. because it “offered up prayers for healing.80 In Cheboksary. espe- .000 local religious groups were denied registration—a full 30 percent of all religious groups operating on Russian territory. the tax police (before this organization was dissolved). Judaism. Local governments gladly stepped up to the challenge. Although the amendment does not directly eliminate the undesirable forms of public life. only 9. and may therefore present a threat to the government. 6.”81 As of September 2000. the taxation of the nonprofit sector.162 | Civil Society Yeltsin was already an exceptionally discriminatory law that left the status of religions other than Christianity. and the FSB. of bureaucratic tyranny and incompetence. In August 2000. holding personnel at gunpoint for nearly an hour. Experts concluded that such activity “might be detrimental to health. A number of environmental and human rights groups have reported harassment by the General Procuracy.83 These organizations are subject to liquidation at any time. Islam. it relegates them to the forces of local prejudices. and Buddhism to the whims of local officials. although they did not hold a medical license. 2000. leaving those unregistered after the date subject to “liquidation” by court order.84 In addition to the aforementioned uses of the law to prevent or stunt the operations of public associations. The administrators of justice in Kirov Oblast banned all activities by a Pentecostal community after viewing video footage of a Pentecostal liturgy taped by an Orthodox Russian priest.82 According to more recent estimates. the newspaper Obshchaya Gazeta reported on several cases of independent youth groups targeted by the FSB. armed masked men accompanied by a uniformed police official raided the offices of the Glasnost Public Foundation. Troublesome organizations not stopped by denial of registration are harassed by what has become a favorite method in the Putin era: the selective enforcement of the rule of law. Before being forced out of business.000 religious groups in Russia had been able to register.000 of the 17. and of pressure from the powerful Russian Orthodox Church. One of the most notorious cases was Moscow’s denial of registration for the Salvation Army under the pretext that it is a militarized organization whose staff wears uniforms and that confers military titles.” and no further investigations were carried out. An amendment to the law signed by Putin made survival for the unwelcome religions even more difficult: the deadline for reregistration was extended to December 31.

According to one provision of the new Tax Code. has been communicating a clear message to those involved in independent activities. Putin wrote in the military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda that Russian environmentalists supported by Western funds could be considered spies. This oldest of Russian polling firms had a reputation for publishing accurate data on people’s attitudes. the new code greatly diminishes unions’ power to protect the interests of their members. which has contributed $80 million in grants to support poor students. While the Soviet era code was obviously anachronistic. researchers. one of the defining features of the Putin regime is an increasing climate of fear. one of the most prominent foreign supporters of civil society in Russia. and gives company management the discretion to deal with or ignore unions. including attitudes about political parties and electoral preferences. NGOs have formed a national coalition to lobby for a package that protects the nonprofit sector.85 The new Labor Code could deliver perhaps the heaviest legislative blow to independent public organizing. VTsIOM-A. Finally.” The harassment of activists. Putin’s government exercised its property rights in a parastatal organization.88 Levada and his team avoided the muzzling tactic by reconstituting a new firm. including Yuri Levada. In July 1999. has suspended his educational grant program. to compel it to privatize. have asserted that the requirement to privatize was intended to eliminate this valuable source of information about Russian politics. deprives unions of the right to maintain offices or personnel on factory premises. but these issues are not at the top of the legislative agenda. initiated under Yeltsin and during Putin’s FSB tenure and continued during Putin’s presidency. For example.86 Pro-union deputies introduced an alternative version. teachers. replaces collective bargaining with individual agreements.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 163 cially the taxation of foreign assistance. The new code eliminates union approval for firing workers. grants made to individuals are subject to a weighty 35. has also encountered setbacks. payable by the organization providing the grant. termed by some “the KGBization of the state. its long-time director. though the long-term future of this new organization is uncertain. Many. and professors over the last decade. the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research (VTsIOM).87 In one unique case. and journalists. George Soros.89 If enterprising individuals choose to engage in activities that concern certain sensitive issues—the . while serving as head of the FSB. Pernicious effects are already evident. but it received a lukewarm response from most members of parliament.9 percent tax.

The FSB has targeted prominent individuals with charges of espionage and treason. The president pardoned Edmond Pope. A particularly noticeable component of the Putin administration is a degree of xenophobia harkening back to the Cold War era. The conviction itself was crucial. The deterrent is clear: even in cases in which the FSB cannot convict its targets of espionage. was charged with espionage based . the American businessman convicted of espionage. in communicating a clear warning to foreigners contemplating involvement with Russian military technology. In 1997. who was initially convicted in December 1999. In November 1999. accused of passing secret documents to South Korea. not the actual crime or punishment. vulnerable to persecution at any moment. Even after the amnesty. Igor Sutyagin. the Supreme Court ruled that his case could be sent back to a military tribunal for review. Another example is that of Valentin Moiseev. communicating to all those engaged in similar activities that no one is immune. Any individual deemed troublesome to the state can turn out to be one of these.90 The circumstances of these cases lend credibility to the assertion that Putin’s FSB is trying to create a general climate of fear instead of simply addressing actual cases of espionage and other infractions of the law. Even though he was released under amnesty in November 2000. not those who investigate the mishandling of nuclear waste by the military. for instance—they should be aware that full-scale “legal” harassment campaigns will be unleashed against them. because of the state of his health. Pasko can conceivably be imprisoned again. the legal arm of Russia’s Pacific Fleet sentenced Grigory Pasko to twenty months in jail for passing reports to a Japanese television channel on the mishandling of nuclear waste. it can certainly draw out the proceedings long enough to make the relevant activities extremely costly for any individual. The warning in this case is clear: ecological ramifications of the military complex are still off limits to independent researchers. but his admiration seems to be directed toward those who protect wildlife habitats or clean up neighborhoods. Putin’s administration and his executive agencies are deeply suspicious of any foreign involvement in internal activities. a scholar at the USA Canada Institute. and whose attempts to obtain a retrial have been drawn out with arbitrary obstructions.164 | Civil Society impact of military activity or the ecological consequences of federal policies. Putin has professed to harbor great respect for environmentalists.

Unity and then its successor. Putin and many other senior government officials participated in the meeting. terminated its agreement with the American Peace Corps.94 although the most vocal critics of the Putin government did not participate.” also referred to as “Pusomol” (Putin’s Kom- . In May 2001. the Foundation for Effective Technologies—a Kremlinsponsored NGO—was instrumental in organizing the November 2001 Civic Forum. “Youth Unity. United Russia—the political party most closely affiliated with Putin—has launched a Komsomol-inspired youth movement. who had worked in the country for fifteen years.” which requires all Russian researchers and scientists to report their contacts with foreign individuals or organizations.91 Human rights NGOs are convinced that the accusations are bogus and that the intent is to inhibit foreign-funded research of military or security matters.95 The Civic Forum was the most visible attempt to co-opt civil society. inspiring hope among some NGO leaders. Putin proclaimed that there “is no honor” in Russian NGOs taking money from Western foundations. Putin has demonstrated a proclivity for meeting with and endorsing organizations that support what he sees as traditional Russian values and are not enthusiastic about pluralistic ideas. the Academy of Sciences released a directive entitled “The Academy of Sciences plans to avoid any harm to the Russian state in the sphere of economic and scientific cooperation. but not the only such initiative. Co-opting Civil Society In parallel with efforts to curb antistate activity. These are apolitical groups that do not concern themselves with affairs of state or groups and are not in a position to significantly affect public opinion. director of Moscow’s Solidarity Center of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). the Russian government has asked the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to leave Chechnya.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 165 on his work on civil-military relations funded by the Canadian Ministry of Defense and two Canadian universities and tried at a closed trial. Most ambitiously. and refused reentry into Russia to Irene Stevenson. For instance.93 Among other anti-Western moves. Putin’s government has tried to recruit allies among societal actors as well as create new civic groups funded by the state.92 The following month.

however. cultural. according to Duma Deputy Oleg Shein.101 The Orthodox Church eagerly accepted Putin’s invitation to engage in political issues. The president also attends Orthodox services on major holidays. proposing to create a charter of civil unions to unite nonpolitical public organizations. sanctioned by the Kremlin. to build up patriotic pride and instill the proper values in Russia’s youth. in November 2001 the Russian Press Institute’s Vitaly Ignatenko. Mediasoyuz.166 | Civil Society somol). encouraging it to play a greater role in social and political affairs. gardening. protest against the code. the FNPR was the only union to advise its members not to participate in the May 17.” a new nationalist movement dedicated to reviving traditional Russian values.99 Putin has also reached out to the Russian Orthodox Church. one of the biggest collective worker actions in post-communist Russia. Indeed. Working Together is another youth group sponsored by the state. In the same spirit. because the new Labor Code provided it with huge advantages over new independent unions.100 He asked Patriarch Aleksii II to bless his ascension to the presidency. and new Media Union head Aleksandr Lyubimov created a new journalists’ union. This new union consists of journalists working for state-owned or state-loyal mass media.96 Similarly. educational. Putin’s government chose to reach out to the larger Soviet era FNPR rather than to the independent trade unions to work on the draft with state officials. and sports organizations and only a few that could be considered even remotely political. to counterbalance the “oppositionist” Russian Journalists’ Union.97 Independent environmental groups also claim that the Kremlin is creating and funding its own ecological organizations. He met with representatives of more than thirty NGOs. In June 2001. Putin extended an offer of formal partnership to some elements of civil society.98 Other rumors claim that the Kremlin is behind “Eurasia. the National Association of Television and Radio Broadcasters’ Eduard Sagalayev.103 . when trade unions voiced their dissatisfaction with the draft Labor Code. were far from the most influential NGOs. however. and included stamp collecting. blessing troops on their way to Chechnya and even naming a patron saint of tax inspectors. 2000.102 The FNPR’s participation yielded dividends. and has honored Orthodox priests with awards “for contributions to the rebirth of spiritual and moral traditions” in Russia. The organizations Putin chose to invite to the meeting. maintains contact with the church’s leading personalities. ones that would cooperate with state structures rather than attempt to overturn presidential decrees.

the degree of consensus reached on major issues of concern was even more impressive. The participants recognized the need to institutionalize collaboration within the movement and set up working groups that will meet regularly to come up with a coherent position and concrete proposals on each issue of concern. First. because it included several Duma deputies and the now former president of Ingushetia Ruslan Aushev alongside human rights activists and prominent intellectuals. The committee has called for peace talks between Putin and Chechnya’s President Ruslan Maskhadov. . One of the resolutions of the congress was to create a committee “For the Termination of War and Establishing Peace in the Chechen Republic. The participation rate and the diversity of groups represented were unprecedented. There is some basis for hope that the consolidation of the human rights movement may continue. assessing the state of affairs in Russia to be a veritable emergency that requires a decisive response from the human rights community.104 Organizers emphasized that it was an “extraordinary” congress. drawing more than 1. perhaps for the first time. This congress issued the first official statement of civic opposition to Putin’s regime. The development of civil society has suffered because of poor cooperation among different organizations working in the same realm. and social and civil rights. For instance. the congress passed firm resolutions on such contentious issues as the threats to the constitutional order.000 activists and representing more than 300 organizations and 65 regions. Aside from the event itself. in January 2001. the fragmented human rights community was able to unite and transcend its disagreements. With near unanimity. the freedom of the press. This was one the largest public events dedicated to human rights in post-Soviet times.” which was launched in March 2001. Second. the brutal campaign in Chechnya. perhaps too optimistically. human rights activists organized the Congress in Defense of Human Rights in response to specific antidemocratic policies of Putin’s government. the congress was significant for two main reasons. the participants recognized that at least the upper-level segment of civil society is asserting an active role in dealing with human rights issues politically. Its plan of action included. already a considerable achievement.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 167 Societal Responses to the Putin Regime Some elements of Russian society have responded to the actions of Putin’s government in a manner reminiscent of a paradigmatic civil society. Committee membership bridged the divide between civil and political society.

such mass events from the liberal sector of Russian society have been rare. Judging from the numbers that attend antiwar demonstrations or have joined these groups recently. The lack of public response to the closure of TV-6. The government seized NTV and the Russian majority fell silent. however. Vladimir Gusinsky. and his team could claim to command public backing. The public paid no attention at all to the campaign . Since the collapse of the Soviet Union. another independent station to which many former NTV staff flocked after NTV’s seizure. and the general public in support of ending the war and the committee wrote open letters to both presidents. Democratic Russia.106 The protests did not last. because thousands of people (20. To date. VTsIOM’s results reveal that 35 percent agreed that the conflict was a “massive attack on the freedom of speech. to which Maskhadov replied with approval. Polls by firms all suggest that the majority did not view NTV and Gusinsky’s holding as a symbol of free speech. and the public.” signaling the “death of democracy” and the restoration of a “quasiSoviet system.” while 43 percent disagreed. The human rights congress met again in October 2003 and passed resolutions on everything from a call to end the war in Chechnya to a demand to respect the constitutional rights of jailed billionaire Mikhail Khodurkovsky. the attack on NTV was a KGB-style “covert operation launched by the Kremlin. mass demonstrations on the streets of Moscow to defend the television company against seizure by proxies for the Putin government signaled that part of Russian society understood the importance of independent media. On the one hand. founder of NTV. the Public Opinion Foundation reported that 43 percent of its respondents viewed the conflict as a financial matter. Yabloko.000 by NTV’s liberal estimation) participated in the two street demonstrations in defense of NTV’s independence. society at large still is not ready to mobilize for political causes. public activists. whereas only 30 percent attributed it to political motives.168 | Civil Society uniting the mass media. however. Societal mobilization around NTV’s takeover (see chapter 7) represented an equally mixed result. politicians. In the eyes of many of the media elite. Likewise. the political parties. was even more pronounced. and some members of the Union of Right Forces spoke out against the Kremlin’s assault on the freedom of speech and the independent press and attended the rallies and protests in defense of NTV.”105 In the face of adversity. some unity seemed to materialize between the media. the concrete achievements of the newly mobilized groups have been few. In April 2001.

the Socio-Ecological Union. On May 17. At the same time. When asked about their reactions to the closing of TV-6. the largest share of respondents—38 percent—expressed indifference. however. such a referendum must take place if 2 million citizen signatures are collected within a certain period. This restructuring consolidated environmental protection. and Ecojuris—and notable members of numerous . Another instance of notable societal mobilization also ended with uncertain results. The Atomic Energy Ministry’s plan to raise revenues by importing and reprocessing spent nuclear fuel from as many as fourteen countries would generate radioactive waste. 2000. to convene at the All-Russian Emergency Conference for Environmental Protection. which won the backing of several oligarchs and therefore seemed to be on a better financial footing than either NTV or TV6 had enjoyed before. The clear unanimity of dissent revealed at the conference prompted an extraordinary and decisive action. Led by Evgeny Kiselev. TV-6 staff did not organize public appeals. according to ecologist and activist Alexei Yablokov. “voices crying in the wilderness. 2000. demonstrations. Presidential Decree Number 867 abolished the State Committee for Environmental Protection and the Federal Forestry Service. where more than 450 delegates from 58 regions pressed the minister of natural resources to account for the reorganization. monitoring. Russia’s dispersed environmental movement transcended its differences. and entrusted the functions of these agencies to the Ministry of Natural Resources. those outraged by these reforms were. When TVS was closed down in the spring of 2003.107 Realizing the dearth of public interest. Many outraged environmental activists and scientists described the new arrangement as appointing the wolf to watch the sheep. much as the human rights movement did the following January. According to the constitution. TVS. the Duma was scheduled to vote on a bill backed by the Atomic Energy Ministry that would allow the importation of spent nuclear material into Russia for ten to fifteen years for reprocessing. Several organizations—Greenpeace. Until June 14. creating a hazardous environmental situation in a state already beset by potentially catastrophic environmental problems. NTV’s core cast moved to a third station. society did not even seem to notice. and “exploitation of natural resources in a single agency.”108 On that date. or work-ins.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 169 against TV-6. A group of environmentalists led by Greenpeace and the Socio-Ecological Union launched a petition calling for a nationwide referendum to restore the abolished agencies and preclude voting on the draft law on nuclear imports.

110 The experience of the petition drive also helped to bring the environmental movement and the human rights movement closer.5 million signatories. Russia is a vast country. became increasingly interested in engaging with civil society leaders once party officials understood the potent mobilizing potential of this campaign. and endorsed a letter to the World Bank calling for freezing loans to Russia until the cut agencies had been reestablished. . The commission ultimately disqualified enough of the signatures to bring the valid number under the required 2 million. Yabloko. The campaign united not only the various civil society institutions. thereby forestalling the referendum.170 | Civil Society research institutions and think tanks also filed suits in the Supreme Court. which organized the drive. however. The elite research and activist community. seemed to have finally accepted that grassroots public organizations must be drawn into the effort if they were to have any chance of success. continue to mistrust all organizations.5 million signatures to the Central Electoral Commission. whose support and signatures were essential. those who did sign exhibited some degree of civic consciousness and responsibility. The petition’s organizers submitted 2. as the Bank agreed to stall a $60 million forestry loan pending new arrangements that were consistent with the Bank’s environmental standards. Nonetheless. The petition to the World Bank produced partial results. and collecting signatures across its eighty-nine regions made local initiatives absolutely essential. Even a political party. was the unprecedented scope of the signature collection campaign. Leaders of grassroots NGOs such as the Movement for Nuclear Safety were able to work with expert environmental researchers and well-known activists for the first time. creating a rare link between the upper and lower levels of civil society. but also the unorganized and passive citizenry. organized numerous petitions to Putin. This means that signature collectors had to approach many more than the final 2. however. collecting signatures in post-Soviet Russia is not an easy task: most people still harbor strong Soviet era fears about challenging the authorities and. the campaign triggered a consolidation of the fragmented civil society and broke through the slumbering civic consciousness of many citizens. As many participating activists pointed out.109 The Supreme Court suit was unsuccessful. local environmental organizations set up headquarters in sixty-two regions. To accomplish the task. as mentioned earlier. The greatest success and a real step forward.

The scope of activities of society at the grassroots has changed little from the Yeltsin years.112 The ministry clearly signaled its intent to solve this issue in collaboration with the environmental movement.Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 171 The movement to contest this government decision hinted that the potential for Russian society to acquire traits closer to the Western paradigm has not disappeared. reverse. Similar case-by-case attempts to mitigate the negative con- . or push through specific federal policies. and at least rhetorically agreed to meet their calls for a national ecological doctrine. Ministry officials proposed holding a third conference of experts and NGOs. the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Kremlin put much effort into justifying and explaining their behavior. while his wife publicly donated $300 to the World Wildlife Fund. efforts by smaller organizations strive to minimize the negative impact of such policies. NGO-backed legal challenges successfully contested the denial of legal status to Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Supreme Court. at least not as of the time of writing. For instance. many threatened religious groups have been saved and their status restored through grassroots efforts. and the “Church of Grace. The alliance of the organizational power and expertise of the environmental movement elite. As was the case throughout the 1990s. reinstating a Pentecostal group in Kirov. Whereas large-scale events orchestrated by prominent organizations and activists are intended to prevent. but the campaign clearly worried the Kremlin. the Slavonic Legal Center initiated and won several cases. 111 Ultimately.”114 In more publicized cases. be they the transition to a market economy or simply new regulations harmful to some constituency. the referendum did not change policy. the active press coverage. the Kostroma Christian Center. While the discriminatory law on religious associations claimed numerous victims across Russia. ten days after the campaign failed Putin revealed his “secret” dream to become an environmental activist. small local groups continue their efforts to provide social welfare and to address the problems arising from state policies. Putin also met with a group of researchers. and agreed to the movement’s proposal for a common council. and the general public’s willingness to support civic initiatives brought life to a vision that inspired the resurgence of the concept of a mobilized society checking the state’s exercise of power.113 and in a somewhat clumsy and naïve attempt. the workers and local resources of the grassroots organizations. In response to accusations of an irresponsible coupling of functions within one agency.

Rather than acting as enemies of civil society development. have been mounting efforts to fill the gap in social welfare provision and respond to urgent problems in an ad hoc manner. oligarchic. . while at the same time defending Russia’s weak democratic institutions from further erosion. After the collapse. the organization and low capacity of the state. In addition. In addition. or rather amalgamated. The vigorous activity during Gorbachev’s tenure transcended. although weak and nearly invisible. private dissent as its only independent activity. political. the impression is somewhat more hopeful. small grassroots associations. Conclusion Neither Soviet nor post-Soviet society could be said to conform to the Western ideal of civil society. be they social groups left over from the Soviet era or new. and economic realms. it enables the population to weather the hardships of a new economic climate. Although such activity does not directly enhance democracy. some of these groups must be considered as part of Russia’s new. Concluding whether the proliferation of independent groups and mass actions signaled a birth of a civil or a political society is difficult. society aggressively asserted independence. the structure of the economy and party system. hybrid civil society. but moved to destroy the regime rather than to reform or democratize it through engagement with the state. society was organized and dominated by the party-state. these social networks may help Russian society survive the storm of “transition” and thereby help put society in a position to be more civic minded as the economy improves. the population’s weariness of upheaval. Over the long haul. Some Soviet organizations have adapted to the new conditions and are able to act effectively on behalf of their members. collective actors created by Russia’s particular kinds of market reforms. In the Soviet era. the civil. it does something important. that is. with hidden. elements of post-Soviet society have tried to emulate the practices of their counterparts in Western democracies. If we approach post-Soviet Russia with a broader concept of civil society in mind. but other forms of societal activity have often overshadowed these organizations. Under Gorbachev’s leadership. and the lingering mistrust among the people will probably continue to frustrate these democratic elements in the near future.172 | Civil Society sequences of policies and circumstance remain the common fare of grassroots society.

a sudden economic downturn could erode support for Putin and his policies and create opportunities for his opponents both in the state and society. but still present and unlikely to wither away completely. Second. is likely to ever have the capacity to suppress the independent life of Russian society completely.” be it Putin’s or his successor’s. When this moment will come is impossible to predict. More recently. this society seems content to allow Putin and his team a free hand in reinvigorating the power and reach of the state at the expense of democratic practices and personal liberties. could alter this situation. A regime too exposed as leaning toward dictatorship might be the very development that spurs Russian society back into action. No “iron hand. if economic growth does continue over a period of years. Centuries of passivity did not stop grassroots. civil society has been less engaged and less influential. the role of civil society has not been constant over the last fifteen years. How the current regime responds to such a crisis would reveal its true intentions regarding democratic consolidation. The first term of Putin’s presidency makes the emergence of full-fledged civil society seem further away than it did at the beginning of the Putin era. Several years of economic growth after a decade of decline have increased the freedom to maneuver of those in the Kremlin. Two circumstances. the beneficiaries of growth will eventually want to limit the discretionary power of the state and influence its policies. however. autonomous groups from playing a central role in making and breaking state policies at the end of the Soviet period. .Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger | 173 Moreover. First. Today.

7 The Mass Media Andrei Ryabov definition of a liberal democracy includes independent media as a Ethevery critical component. Theorists of democratic transitions have highlighted critical role that liberalizing media can play in forcing the pace of democratization. Thus the history of their development over the past decade and the obstacles they encountered has generated intense interest among political scientists and analysts and has inspired a vast amount of literature. 174 . the role of the mass media as a catalyst for democracy has become less influential. both in Russia and abroad. even if a sporadic and unfinished process. Russia has been no exception. this chapter traces the rise and fall of Russian media as a force for democratization. The development of independent mass media. Currently. Why did this occur? What are the implications for the future of Russian democracy? To provide answers to these questions.1 The media played a pivotal role in easing the hold of the omnipresent communist ideology on society in the late Soviet period and in mobilizing broad social support for democratic change. the media evolved and gradually transformed into an important tool of political struggle in the hands of Russia’s leading political and business elites. played a key role in Russia’s postcommunist political transition and democratization. Throughout the 1990s.

but the key point here is that despite its eventual popularity among the public. The intense struggle in the upper ranks of the party and Soviet echelons prompted both sides to appear supportive of objective mass media. Argumenty i Fakty. During the early years of Gorbachev’s perestroika. liberalization did not mean privatization. and the media became a vital channel for public information on the views and objectives of various social. alien to their traditional function in Soviet society before Gorbachev. The press was given greater freedom. the media necessarily remained part of the traditional Soviet state economy. a new generation of independent-minded journalists and commentators at such papers as Moscow News. The state still owned or subsidized most media outlets and all electronic media. The only reason for the existence of objective. created opportunities for gradual liberalization . which. the mass media took on a wholly new role. professional. and Izvestiya was ahead of the political elite and civil society in leading the charge toward democratic reform. multisource news coverage in the late 1980s was that it was in the interests of the two most powerful groups: the reformist wing in the soviets and the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). With no access to advertising or private investment markets. This liberalization of the mass media helped to connect people both to each other and to the outside world. when the mass media seemed to be developing into something arguably resembling a “fourth estate. glasnost did not develop spontaneously and most likely would not have prevailed had government authorities chosen to block it. political groups. between the conservative hard-liners and the new reform-minded elite. During the Gorbachev era. in turn. that is. Ogonyok. From their former subordinate role the mass media rose to become the engine of democratization. so long shut away from both by communism and the Iron Curtain. By lifting the taboo of open discussion about previously closed political topics. The reasons for this apparently counterintuitive support will be explained later. state control over the media was gradually lifted.” they were far from being independent either economically and politically. and.2 Indeed. such as Soviet history or unpopular aspects of official government policy. the media’s pluralism during the first years of perestroika was largely propelled by the ideological and political splits within the ranks of the ruling elite. later. During the Gorbachev era.Andrei Ryabov | 175 The Troubled Birth of Russia’s Democratic Media Starting with Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika program and the associated policy of glasnost.

It is in this context that the mass media appeared in the eyes of many to have developed into a special kind of fourth estate. This development in the early stages of the transition did not come about as a result of deep-seated economic or institutional change. radical change. Despite their weak foundations. Independent communist publications proliferated faster than democratic outlets. which took a more conservative stance. In the republics. seeing how rapidly orthodox communist ideology was losing currency. a role that they still hold to some extent even today.176 | The Mass Media of the media that often went beyond even the CPSU reform wing’s original intentions. The newly independent mass media actually built on the traditions of the preperestroika Soviet press of the late 1970s and early 1980s when. it was largely unintended and determined by a series of coincidences. Gorbachev’s launch of glasnost fueled expectations among the general public for rapid. and in so doing counterbalanced the first national television station (ORT). in accordance . on channel two and created at the initiative of the reform-minded Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Boris Yeltsin. reformers promoted mass media support of democratic changes and thereby indirectly gave the media greater freedom.3 In 1990. the new mass media succeeded in carving out an important political role for themselves during the first years of perestroika. Seeking to mobilize public support. The new Russian television station. Conservatives. this ideological split finally spilled onto national television. This gave rise to social and political activism in the late 1980s that made use of the media as an instrument for breaking the diverse political and administrative barriers to freedom of information.4 Alongside the permissive political conditions provided from above by Gorbachev. during perestroika the mass media were instrumental in facilitating the formation of the first independent social and political associations. Russian Television and Radio (RTR). was intended to inform and to provide support for radical political and socioeconomic views and developments. another important factor encouraging the mass media’s increasingly bold push for increased freedom of information was pressure from below by an information-starved public eager to know more. Over time. Instead. promoted the development of media groups that focused on the traditionally-oriented sections of society who disapproved of Gorbachev’s policy for nationalistic and protectionist reasons. thus the trend was short-lived and hard to sustain once official political backing was removed. nationalist leaders were particularly active in securing independence from the federal government for local media. For example.

The communist system. In liberal democracies. Above all. With some justification. The Test of Freedom: Yeltsin and the Market Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. At a time when the country had no active civil society able to mount coordinated pro-democracy movements or set up public organizations or any real political parties. and organizing the masses in the name of true values and ideals.”6 The mass media’s departure from straightforward information reporting and communication.”7 By adopting the role of an actor on the political stage. . particularly deputies in the USSR Congress of People’s Deputies elected in 1989 and the Russian Congress of People’s Deputies elected in 1990. The initial postSoviet. and especially those relating to the environment. primarily at the local level. and their transformation into a political entity were deeply rooted in their historic self-perception. but also enlightening. journalists. postcommunist phase was euphoric for most of the press. and film directors. Russia’s lack of political parties at that time eliminated that option and allowed the media to step in instead.5 With their growing influence in society. one of the mass media’s new functions became their influence in the creation of the emerging new political elite. leaders of the democratic mass media could claim that they had played an instrumental role in bringing about this outcome. the media became the vanguard of Russia’s initial steps toward democratization. Indeed.Andrei Ryabov | 177 with official communist ideology. it is no accident that the first generation of democratic politicians. which on the surface remained their main function. the mass media were compelled to redefine their relationship with the state. Even just “one successful article on a current topic instantly made its author a national celebrity and opened his or her direct access to the political arena. social scientists. the mass media filled a political vacuum. included many writers. the media viewed themselves as an institution whose “task involved not only informing the public or creating an authentic picture of reality. political parties assume primary responsibility for this task. the printed media attempted to support public initiatives. had left the historical scene. the media’s longtime adversary. agitating. Those leaders whom the democratic press had supported during the last years of communism were now in power.

This comfortable position gave many editors a false sense of security and an altogether wrong impression of the real nature of the changes that a transition to the market would bring to the media industry. With market reforms under way in 1992 and 1993. including fixed prices on printing services and paper. During the last two years of the Soviet Union. These difficulties did not stop the mass media from claiming a leading role in the political process. privileged rates on leases of long-term facilities. The situation could not have been better. the media’s financial standing became much more complex in the postcommunist era. subsidies declined significantly and the costs of printing and distribution increased proportionally. in 1991 and 1992. the media received generous contributions from the state. The media community’s awareness of its own key role in the popular victory over communism led it to continue to view its main mission as pushing for democracy. the advantageous economic status enjoyed by the printed mass media disappeared.178 | The Mass Media The rewards of victory were bittersweet. Second. Yeltsin and the government took all the right steps to provide legal guarantees for an independent media sector. the state. On the other hand. No one realized that soon the media’s position would become untenable. The reason for this was twofold. while glasnost increasingly relieved them of ideological pressure from the CPSU. these media outlets were subject to little control or supervision from their owner. The media continued to enjoy the benefits of the Soviet economy. cohesive understanding of how changes might affect media organizations was lacking and “few [media leaders] made any effort to restructure their organization’s economic base or reform the management of editorial boards. First. On the one hand. and a centralized system of press distribution. As Iosif Dzyaloshinsky noted in a 2001 study in one of a series of Carnegie Moscow Center reports.9 At the same time. because of rampant inflation and declining real incomes. which upheld the mass media’s legal independence from state control. and chief editors at all major publications encountered serious economic difficulties.”10 Radical reforms did come. on the threshold of radical market reforms. while also being increasingly able to tap into additional formerly inaccessible funds from commercial activities such as advertising. Its model was the libertarian ideal of unrestrained . demand dropped to unprecedented low levels.8 Publicly Yeltsin also reiterated his firm commitment to an independent press. The first step was taken as early as 1990 with the adoption of the Soviet Law on Mass Media (confirmed in the Russian Legal Code in 1991).

normative commitment to democratization became fused with the concrete policy of saving Yeltsin. an extensive renewed system of fixed prices on paper and partial subsidies on other production expenses. For his part. the Supreme Soviet’s new concern about reasserting authority over the media led it to court national .11 Taking Sides Despite their overt espousal of broadly libertarian ideals. confronted with a divided and polarized society. the diametric opposite of the extreme that had existed under the Soviet political system. not altogether by chance.Andrei Ryabov | 179 individual freedom. most of them were still too dependent on subsidies to be able to entirely disassociate themselves from the government. however. The media’s cooperation with the executive branch of government was also helpful in the form of several important economic concessions. In the end. Yeltsin needed the backing of the mass media to mobilize public support behind his agenda. the government connection proved quite powerful and was reflected in the political roles that the media came to play in the early postcommunist years. many members of which felt threatened by the actions of the Supreme Soviet. The liberal media allied themselves with those pushing for radical market reforms while at the same time avoiding market forces in relation to their economic sector. The president’s backing gave courage to the media community. The mass media’s willingness to enter into such an arrangement shows the duality of their commitment to reform. The threats were real. For most major media outlets the abstract. the media’s alliance with Yeltsin overshadowed their democratization mission. notably. the great majority of media institutions were not ready for economic independence under market conditions. After long years of state support. as the parliament gradually did try to reinstate administrative controls over the press and other channels of mass information. The alliance between President Yeltsin and the mass media that took shape during the August Republic (August 1991–October 1993) coalesced as a result of a common enemy: the Russian Supreme Soviet and its pro-communist outside backers. the alliance between the media and Yeltsin at least had the outward appearance of being resilient. Indeed. Regardless of its inconsistencies. Over time. The alliance between the mass media and the administration was mutually beneficial. and came to be eyed jealously by the Supreme Soviet.

most journalists hastened to make explicit their preference for Yeltsin and his radical reform line. The only time that this alliance between Yeltsin and the mass media soured was during the first Chechen war (December 1994–April 1996). Faced with offers of an alliance with a predominantly communist Supreme Soviet. Throughout the 1996 campaign. however.13 Most of the media community. Despite a handful of isolated conflicts.12 The alliance between Yeltsin and the mass media proved lasting. formally independent by this time. active from 1993 to 1996. Stability was slowly eroding because of widespread disappointment with his socioeconomic reforms. Meanwhile the mass media saw in Yeltsin a guarantee of the freedom they had gained since 1991. Yeltsin initially saw the war as a tool that he could use to demonstrate the strength and efficacy of his leadership. the decision-making initiative had passed to a group of political actors. an image he needed to regain public support and strengthen the state. he could count on a favorable image in the press and unequivocal support in times of trouble. the media feared that after the various cabinet reshufflings accompanying the Chechnya campaign. most of the mass media. whose popularity and influence among the public had risen dramatically in the early 1990s in comparison with other mass media. all the television channels gave their unconditional support to Yeltsin. saw the war from a different perspective. not only because of the implicit promise of lucrative financial profits. the relationship was solid and was supported by common long-term interests. supported Yeltsin. that sought to establish an administrative police regime in Russia of the kind that the democratic media . The 1996 presidential election campaign was decisive in this respect. by the time of the September–October 1993 clash between the president and the Supreme Soviet. This inadvertent choice between the two political sides crushed the timid attempts by the television networks to take an independent position on the issues of the day. the so-called Korzhakov group. During the political crisis of March 1993 they were unable to disassociate themselves in equal measure from the two sides of the conflict.180 | The Mass Media television stations. Yeltsin understood that in exchange for his material and political support to the media. even though the television stations perceived their role as that of impartial informers and assistants in the resolution of specific social and human problems. and to them it was unacceptable for two reasons. Indeed. First. The competing goals of the two sides could not be reconciled. but also because they genuinely saw him as the only political candidate capable of thwarting a communist comeback.

Russia’s other oligarchs followed Gusinsky’s foray into mass media. and later started a weekly magazine. with its flagship television station.15 This rift between the media and the president was considerable. Gusinsky owned a daily newspaper. along with the emergence of new private media firms. Every major media outlet supported Yeltsin. In 1992 and 1993. 1993. but instead of starting new companies. Of these new companies. these other oligarchs took advantage of . but did not altogether do away with. Privatization and the Media During the early years of postcommunist Russia. in which the mass media had played a much less visible role. started by Vladimir Gusinsky in 1993. The gradual disappearance of the communist threat combined with Yeltsin’s moderate course undermined the media’s claim to be the vanguard of the liberal revolution.14 Second. Naturally. a second constraining condition on the media’s role in politics also emerged: the market. the general public and the elite resisted the strategy of radical market reforms that most of the mass media supported. a status acquired largely because of his political victories in 1991 and 1993. NTV. but by the spring of 1996. for the mass media the war signaled the return of the state. published in partnership with Newsweek. Segodnya. with the end of the war and the official launch of the presidential election. Media-Most. Ironically. acquired a major stake in a popular radio station. Yeltsin opted for a course of partial reforms that modernized. because of its very nature the union between Yeltsin and the mass media could not be an alliance of equals. In addition to NTV.Andrei Ryabov | 181 had battled against since perestroika. the close alliance between Yeltsin and the mass media was quickly restored. Market reforms initially helped to stimulate the growth of new media and independent outlets. thereby indirectly rejecting the strategy proposed by the media. was the largest and most important. the key change that produced a less critical and democracy-promoting press was privatization. Itogi. and consequently these reforms were not implemented. which once again was trying to force its will upon the people. when its editorial line was decidedly more critical than that of state-controlled and state-affiliated media. the former Soviet nomenklatura. Even after the overthrow of the Supreme Soviet on October 3–4. This media group rose to prominence during the first Chechen war. The president played the role of senior partner. Ekho Moskvy. in this case the Chechens.

of state media assets. media outlets served a new set of purposes. the business tycoon ended up calling the shots at the largest officially independent public news corporation. Russia’s largest television station. at the root of this arrangement was the media’s economic dependence. something that its management. the state continued to maintain major assets in television. The federal government retained RTR.182 | The Mass Media their close ties with the federal government to obtain control. LUKoil. Other Russian oligarchs also obtained minor shares in ORT. quasi-state financial group. Yet even the state channels served private interests. Specifically. but through the use of second. valued above political independence. The replacement of the media’s democratizing mission with the more narrow goal of supporting Yeltsin. By the mid-1990s this trend became even more pronounced at the local level. off-budget salaries to key employees paid directly in cash by Berezovsky himself. the biggest Russian oil company. gained control over Izvestiya. Sistema. together with ONEXIM-Bank. Berezovsky also took control of another minor station. Boris Berezovsky. the mayor of Moscow. Again. but Berezovsky exercised genuine property rights.16 Once in private hands. The topics and style of media coverage were no longer determined primarily by journalists but by the media’s new owners and. the advertising company Video International exercised strong influence over RTR’s information policy through monopoly control over the channel’s advertising time. and sometimes ownership. bought the daily papers Trud and Rabochaya Tribuna and the magazine Profil’. and his quasi-private. acquired partial ownership and complete control of ORT. Gazprom. Most surprisingly. understandably. while Yuri Luzhkov. a close confidant of the Yeltsin inner circle. founded TV-Center. Nevertheless. where business control ranged from direct administrative subordination to indirect influence on editorial policy. By skillfully maneuvering among the various groups of shareholders and slipping bribes into the pockets of the management elite at the right time. He did so not because of his ownership stake. The station’s chronic underfunding from the government meant that the advertising revenues offered by Video International were RTR’s only means for staying afloat. Russia’s small group of financial houses and oil and gas companies also gobbled up most of the leading national newspapers. The powerful national gas monopoly. TV-6. to a lesser extent. For instance. and ONEXIM-Bank acquired Komsomolskaya Pravda. compounded by their economic . by various government institutions reasserting editorial control over their media holdings.

the Center on Law and the Mass Media. corruption among the mass media became an increasingly prevalent fact of life. media that relied on advertising could not be . After a long and dramatic struggle to stay afloat.18 At the same time. published by a group of Russian NGOs that included the Union of Russian Journalists. the newspaper fell under Berezovsky’s control and became a tool for his political maneuvers. and the Union of Distributors of Press Productions and Titles. but not in the traditional way. The Anatomy of Free Speech: An Expert Study. The intent was that the newspaper would be based on principles of pluralistic and inclusive editorial opinion and would be independent from government influence and even from pressures within the media industry. For instance. The dual dependence of the democratic mass media—economic and ideological—explains why they did not develop into a fourth estate during the initial years of Yeltsin’s presidency. the corruption of journalists has facilitated various media wars between oligarchic clans and other interest groups. They were not seeking to maximize profits through advertising on popular programs. Some tried but failed.19 The Political Function of Media Controlled by the Oligarchs The oligarchs acquired media assets to make money. Practices such as latent advertising (advertisements disguised as business or economic reporting) and so-called black public relations (the publication of commissioned articles against political rivals) became widespread in the media after the 1995–1996 national electoral cycle. Vitaly Tretyakov and his team established the Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Independent Newspaper). The cases ranged from explicit prohibitions on the work of journalists in local regulatory laws to arbitrary administrative restrictions on reporters’ access to information. Public relations specialists and political consultants now understand that media corruption is an important facet of working with the press.17 The erosion of the media’s brief period of political independence and economic freedom had a negative impact on the basic freedom of information in society. More recently. explains their notable decline from the early transition period. A 1999 report.Andrei Ryabov | 183 dependence in the new market economy. Given the depressed economy and accompanying limited consumer demand. cited hundreds of instances in which freedom of expression in the media had been violated.

but his ratings in public opinion polls were mired in the single digits. The specific mechanisms for generating information aimed at manipulating public opinion were diverse and were influential at a number of levels. By the mid-1990s Yeltsin had more or less rejected the path of radical political and socioeconomic reforms and instead focused on preserving the institutions and mechanisms already in place. no independent source of information was available that could call into question the virtual world created by these television networks. the value of Yeltsin’s alliance with the media became apparent. Because all the major television channels supported Yeltsin. Yeltsin’s private convictions contradicted his public statements. At that time. creating the illusion among a broad spectrum of voters that the president had an agenda for social reform and raising popular expectations for such an outcome. One of his most impressive attempts at feeding the illusion of reform to the public at the national level was in 1996. Russia’s ruling class supported Yeltsin as the best and only candidate worthy of the job. At this juncture. they acquired media assets to influence politics in a way that would produce economic payoffs via government connections.184 | The Mass Media profitable. Its essence was the creation of a parallel political reality that had little in common with the actual political process. As time went on. Electoral Politics A precondition for the oligarchs to make money through government contacts was to ensure that government leaders favorable to them stayed in power. Rather. This was the pivotal point in the “mediazation” of Russian politics. the year he threw in his bid for a second term in what would be a tough presidential campaign. The main techniques included the publication of reports about various initiatives by leading political actors and the targeted use of frequently fabricated leaks from government institutions that attributed fictitious . Yeltsin needed the media not to help him pursue economic or political change. Neither Yeltsin’s campaign platform on Russia’s future nor his past achievements in the socioeconomic realm were particularly impressive. His election headquarters orchestrated how the media portrayed Yeltsin’s campaign. which promised to maintain a rapid pace of reform and were intended to boost his image as an active reformer in the eyes of the business community and the public. but simply to stay in power.

a media representative who worked closely with the Kremlin. for instance. he retaliated by unleashing his media outlets on the new government. Gusinsky believed that he had been promised the rights to acquire the telecommunications company Svyazinvest as a reward for NTV’s support of Yeltsin’s campaign. In 1996. antidemocratic plots.20 Compensating for the lack of genuine political initiatives from the executive branch of government. the media constructed and immediately exposed two alleged conspiracies involving high-ranking government authorities who happened to be at odds with the president at the time. The first case implicated Defense Minister Pavel Grachev and the second targeted Security Council Secretary Aleksandr Lebed. Shaping Policy and the Government The oligarchs promised to put the full weight of their media empires behind Yeltsin’s reelection campaign in return for ownership of some of the country’s most profitable companies. Justifying the use of such ethically dubious mechanisms Gleb Pavlovsky. the media dutifully fabricated sensational conflicts to detract public attention from the actual agenda and help Yeltsin at least maintain the Potemkin facade of successful reform. Thus two of the three largest television networks turned against the government. noted that their use was purely pragmatic. A president who did not possess reliable political or administrative structures was justified in resorting to the alternative. Berezovsky was his partner in putting together the failed bid for Svyazinvest. and hence highly publicized. When Gusinsky lost his bid to obtain this company. . Yeltsin delivered the biggest reward during the 1996 presidential election. Both instances involved alarmist stories about the threat these figures posed to democratization and economic reform in conjunction with their exposure either as revenge-seeking communists or major business magnates. The oligarch wars that ensued after the 1996 election originated largely as a result of disputes about who received which promised assets. when Berezovsky acquired the Siberian oil company Sibneft in return for backing Yeltsin on ORT. information-based form of influence that could target all levels of society.Andrei Ryabov | 185 statements to political figures refuted later in a lengthy. series of investigative reports. In each case the mass media went out of their way to present the president as the guarantor of public order and stability and as the person who had resolutely thwarted the generals’ dangerous. At that time.

Yeltsin’s chief of staff. and listener. including consulting with experts in the Presidential Council. Over time. Most important.21 The Restructuring of the Mass Media and the Impact on Society The balance of influence wielded by different media outlets changed dramatically in the 1990s. by providing broad coverage of miners’ protests at the government building in Moscow. Yeltsin made active use of a variety of democratic channels for deliberation and decision making. the role and influence of the print media declined dramatically at the same time as the role and influence of . The Russian Constitution gives the president tremendous power and the office dominates the decision-making process. which Yeltsin allegedly watched frequently. Perceiving Kiriyenko’s policies as a threat to their business interests. After the armed conflict with the Supreme Soviet in October 1993. and as a result the only way to reach the president was through the electronic media. the president. As a result of this scandal. the media stressed the weakness of the minister’s government and the public’s lack of confidence in him and convinced Yeltsin to withdraw his support for Kiriyenko. the mass media successfully influenced Yeltsin’s policy in relation to Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko. Later in the year. of receiving $100. In the summer of 1998. The press accused a group of young reformers headed by Anatoly Chubais.000 for a small book about the history of Russia’s privatization. viewer. Yeltsin was compelled to fire Chubais and several other young reformers from his government. the media also began to target the most powerful actor in the political system: the president. Yeltsin’s circle of contacts narrowed dramatically and he became less accessible.186 | The Mass Media The most successful intervention into the political sphere by Berezovsky’s and Gusinsky’s media outlets was the so-called case of the writers. the Korzhakov group used news reports especially selected from RTR broadcasts to convince Yeltsin to dismiss Oleg Poptsov. director of the Russian Television and Radio Company (the umbrella entity for RTR) on the grounds of disloyalty to the president. namely. This crisis spawned an almost permanent media war with the government. During his first years as president. These accusations received wide public attention. to the extent that media analyst and political adviser Pavlovsky openly noted in 1997 that the Russian mass media worked for one reader. This trend continued into the late 1990s.

and Izvestia. as well as from the humanistic elite. Papers such as Kommersant-Daily. Russia went from a “nation of readers” to a “nation of television-watchers. primarily theoretical and applied science institutes.”25 The demise of the national press for financial reasons. political.24 Over the course of several years.Andrei Ryabov | 187 television grew. At that time the advertising market could not compensate for the losses incurred by the inability to continue the low-price sales made possible by government subsidies. But during the 1990s. and the marginalization of the intellectual elite that had once served as the generator of new ideas resulted in changes in the structure of the print media market. television replaced print media as the most widespread source of information among the public. Toward the end of the 1980s. and Gazeta. the transformation of television into the main source of news. the destruction of the centralized state system of press distribution and the resulting higher cost of distribution services. Indeed. Nezavisimaya Gazeta. A key change was an increase in the demand for local press. along with its decisive influence on the public’s political orientation and understanding of social processes. the printed media served as society’s intellectual inspiration. the drop in public interest in the political strategy for Russia’s development. all the respected print media essentially switched from providing information for the general public to being a source of information for the political and business elite. and cultural implications. As the number of political newspapers and magazines declined and the number and circulation of entertainment publications rose. the intellectual elite largely lost its authority among the public.”22 From an economic perspective. whose readership they ensured by launching political and business publications geared specifically at decision makers. drawing much of their work from academic institutions.23 Another change to hit the media after perestroika pertained to its composition and intellectual orientation. accounted for the abrupt drop in consumer demand for printed material. The resulting dramatic drop in readership drove down production and resulted in the virtual disappearance of the national press. Yet these gains in influence by the local printed press at the expense of national publications pales in comparison with the rising influence of national television. which in many ways became more relevant to people’s daily lives. and later Segodnya. which often exceeded subscription revenues. when Russia stood at the crossroads of social development with its accompanying economic. became such “papers of influence. is indisputably one of the most notable features of con- . Russky Telegraph.

live broadcasting holds a particular appeal to mass audiences that the press cannot match. One of the by-products of increased television viewing was that passive watching not only replaced active public participation in politics. but nevertheless more appealing life. most Russians cited the death of Princess Diana as the most significant event. but also in many other forms of civic participation.188 | The Mass Media temporary Russian culture. While the influential new role that television came to play in Russia in the 1990s generally mirrored the broader world trend. and recreational organizations. such as television watching. The decline of the public’s interest in politics and people’s growing belief that they had no avenues for influencing government policy were important factors that pushed the public into politically passive activities. alien. In the latter case. from the public’s point of view.26 A national public opinion poll conducted by the Russian Independent Institute of Social and Nationalities Problems in 1997 showed that despite the tempestuous political events that had taken place in Russia that year. such as support for various interest groups. People found in television an easy escape from the tough reality around them as well as a glimpse into a different. a comparison between Russia and developed democracies would be inappropriate. by many standards Russia’s case was the most striking. In this light. primarily by means of various civic initiatives and efficient systems . The reason for this was the persistent decline in popular political participation in Russia over the decade because of the general public disillusionment with reforms and the alienation of the political elite from society. unions. This symbiotic relationship became particularly apparent among the leading media holdings. society actively participates in politics. The elites’ apparent transformation into a closed caste that. associations. and did so even though they knew little about Diana’s work compared with the Western public or about the reasons for her popularity in the United Kingdom and the United States. Thus the enthusiasm for television compensated for the public’s lack of participation in politics. lived by their own laws was yet another factor in individuals distancing themselves from active politics. Because of its continuous world news updates and viewers’ feelings of personal involvement in broadcast events. The fundamentally changed relationship between the printed mass media and television compelled a certain adaptation by both. The former increasingly turned into a source of commentaries and new ideas while the latter became their popular distributor.

Putin began reshaping the political system with two important goals in mind: first. including the Information Security Doctrine. To this end. in publicizing information about the sinking of the Kursk. The company’s financial problems made MediaMost—and especially NTV—vulnerable to state intervention. the government introduced national regulations to limit freedom of information. the government leaned on NTV’s other major shareholder to install new management at the television station. while his newspaper Segodnya was shut down. They saw the new president as a guarantor of effective social reform and stability. . Because of NTV’s critical coverage of the second Chechen war. a body headed and controlled by the president.Andrei Ryabov | 189 of local self-government. especially of the executive branch.28 The Mass Media Under Putin The departure of Yeltsin and the election of Vladimir Putin as president created a new sociopolitical environment for the mass media. and second. Eventually. restricting voices critical of the system. When that did not work (Gusinsky eventually fled the country). Putin also criticized the media’s unpatriotic role. As Yuri Levada justly notes. for example. The popularity of television in developed democracies is less a reflection of the public’s political passivity than of the media’s complementary role in political matters. The new president came into office with the confidence and solid support not only of the political elite. a document approved by the Russian Security Council. an entirely new team took over at NTV and at Gusinsky’s magazine Itogi. who were tired of the chaos and injustice that had marked Yeltsin’s presidency. By far the most widely publicized case of government restrictions on the media involved Gusinsky’s Media-Most. The Kremlin did not overtly shut down Media-Most. strengthening the vertical power structure. Putin was particularly disdainful of Gusinsky and his media empire. “[T]rust in the effects and heralds of the mass media in Russia is inversely proportional to the individual’s understanding of social phenomena or the opportunities that exist for influencing these. but also of the majority of Russians. In response to these expectations. The opposite is true of the Russian public.” 27 The overbearing influence of television on Russia’s contemporary society and culture is an indication of the underdevelopment of that society and not a sign of progress. but instead used the courts to threaten Gusinsky with criminal charges.

Those arguing the case in the name of democracy were few. Talking about freedom of speech as such would not have made sense. This pressure is applied in different ways: from direct administrative coercion to indirect influence (under the pretext of financial aid) on the editorial policy of those television stations. the government played on the conflicts among TVS shareholders belonging to different interest groups and closed the channel under the guise of financial failure. What this debate ultimately showed was not the rightness of one side or the other. Later several groups of oligarchs loyal to the Kremlin created a new company. namely Gusinsky’s employees. citing Gusinsky’s heavy debts. when most of the NTV journalists who had opposed the government’s policies had switched to TV-6. This was an extremely important precedent because later. but the weakness of civil society at that time. TVS. out of the remnants of TV-6. Gusinsky’s supporters agreed with his claim that the confiscation of his stock holdings and denial of freedom of speech were illegal and politically motivated. As a result of these efforts. the government renewed its attempts to close those stations that were not to its liking with help from its loyal supporters in the courts and among shareholders loyal to the government and not Gusinsky. who had a vested financial interest in defending their boss. newspapers. a court verdict shut down TV-6. Those TV-6 journalists who went to work for TVS were forced to take the political line of the new owners into account and to soften their criticisms of Putin and his policies. and they could not provide a counterweight to the state authorities. another national television company. seeing them as a retreat from the pluralism of media organizations during Yeltsin’s presidency and a sign of increasingly autocratic government pressure on the press. Most Western and Russian analysts take a negative stance on the new conditions in relation to the media. Seeking complete control over the national information and news channels. Yet the government viewed even soft criticism as an annoyance.190 | The Mass Media The conflict surrounding the takeover of the popular television station stirred up a nationwide debate on the freedom of speech. or magazines that are out of line with the government’s wishes. The opponents of this view maintained that the freedom of speech argument was irrelevant and that its loudest proponents were self-interested parties. and were not based on legal and economic reasons as the authorities claimed. .

claiming that the status of the mass media has deteriorated because Putin’s approach is more authoritarian than Yeltsin’s would be an exaggeration. embarked on a program of dynamic market reforms. Those factors that gave rise to the mediazation of Russian politics in the second half of the 1990s have either lost their significance or disappeared entirely. This change was pivotal in reducing the ruling elite’s interest in the media as a tool for deceiving the public. The elite once again began to view the media as an honest mechanism for delivering news about government decisions. In the spring of 2001. The media still have neither the economic independence nor the drive to effect such a dramatic turnaround in their political role. no real decisions on socioeconomic and intragovernmental reforms were ever made. With the exception of laws adopted in the summer of 2000 on federal reform that ran counter to the popular expectations accompanying Putin’s arrival in office.Andrei Ryabov | 191 As grossly undemocratic as this new system may appear at first sight. First. . the media’s role as fabricator of fictitious political stories abruptly diminished. His messages to various social. The president frequently appeared on television in various situations and before diverse audiences. The rhetoric. While the mass media continue to hold on to this goal. In theory. its existence does not ensure its realization. critic. when Putin. a status the media tried hard to assert. as before. A related problem is that some members of the elite still nurture the idea of using the mass media as a tool for shaping policy. diverged with reality. however. with parliament’s support. professional. the government’s use of the media to provide an illusion of political action so noticeable during Yeltsin’s last years has decreased significantly under Putin. During the first year of his presidency. the media were free from government and big business influence and were not a propaganda arm for either. for the most part Putin kept to a policy line that was in step with that of the previous administration. but their success in using the media for this purpose in the future is becoming less likely. and political groups were clearly intended to address the high social expectations of the great majority of the populace. and channel for communication between society and the government. gradually carving out the role of an impartial information source. The issue is much more complicated and multifaceted than it appears and requires closer consideration of the mechanisms shaping the new environment in which the media operate and the media’s adaptation to the challenges that have arisen under Putin’s presidency.

but mercenary entities for sale to the highest bidder. in describing the new attitude of the business elite toward the media. Lazareva noted that “no one wants to throw money at journalists any more…it is enough to keep them on minimal rations and to remind them from time to time that if they don’t like their ration they don’t have to eat it. But when Putin arrived in the Kremlin on a wave of popular hope and belief in the advent of peace and order. Efforts in this direction have already been made and. and hence politically. Indeed. The special role that the media once played no longer has the same importance. However. transforming them from active participants in the decision-making process into ordinary information tools for leading political actors. People listened to the mass media when they exposed the “truth” about the corruption and injustice of some political authorities. The resulting politicized media are no longer ideological companions of politicized capital and business elites. it also heralds a sharp decline in the prestige and significance of the mass media. This skeptical attitude put the media in a highly vulnerable position and made them vulnerable to outside pressure. This means that media magnates like Berezovsky and Gusinsky. In the new political environment the courts. the mass media’s critical articles were no longer needed and the public perceived them as unnecessary irritants. . profitable enterprises. The new situation forced media company shareholders to consider ways of turning these previously subsidized entities into commercially viable. at least in principle. who tried to preserve the old ways of decision making that emphasized the media’s status. mainly from the government. when the authorities’ popularity was at a low ebb.192 | The Mass Media The second important change in the media’s identity under Putin concerns the structure of the decision-making mechanism. the public prosecutor’s office. this is a welcome development that could help make the media financially. and the tax police have become the coercive institutions and the only channels through which pressure groups can defend their interests in political and economic conflicts. Trust in the media was high at the end of Yeltsin’s presidency. This would bring them more closely in line with their Western counterparts.”29 The media’s failure to retain a central role in conflicts between elites had an important consequence beyond stimulating changes in journalists’ view of their purpose. more independent. did not fit into the new political order and ultimately found themselves outside influential circles. The third change during the post-Yeltsin era was the public’s perception of the mass media.

the elite groups sought order and stability. today’s mass media are much more cautious. arguing that the media’s pluralism has completely disappeared in the new political era would be doing the media an injustice. After the tumultuous and uncertain times under Yeltsin. Reports that might appear provocative or that could arouse negative reactions among the public and political and business elites now appear first on the Internet. Only after such test runs for adverse reaction are they allowed to appear in print or on television. the president. they sought to restrict competition and understood the importance of the media in helping them accomplish that objective. Nevertheless. Compared with the confident. Government officials accused some media of spreading panic and risking the lives of both the special forces and the hostages by live broadcasting of the beginning of the rescue assault on the Theater Center. In its place. and selfcensorship. As a result the State Duma adopted an amendment to the Law on Mass Media to limit the media’s freedom to report and interpret terrorist crises. Selfcensorship has again become widespread in the press. like society at large. The difference now is that the media are driven less by democratic forces than by competition among the ruling elite. just as it did during the Yeltsin years. including those in leading media corporations. Pluralism still exists under Putin. just as in Soviet times. In support of their goal of retaining the exclusive status that they had inherited from Yeltsin’s time in office.Andrei Ryabov | 193 This vulnerability was compounded by a new orientation among the elites. messianic role they assumed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This desire on the part of the elite to preserve the status quo was what pressured many media outlets to take a relatively neutral stance on the government’s confiscation of Gusinsky’s media holdings. Indeed. who would like to represent himself in the West as a liberal politician. However. The conflict that has split Putin’s team since the earliest days of his presidency—between those people he retained from the old Yeltsin elite and . the future for the media does not look altogether bleak. The move toward self-censorship became obvious after the seizure of hostages at Moscow’s Theater Center on Dubrovka by Chechen terrorists in October 2002. internal industry supervision. from which they can be quickly and inconspicuously removed if necessary. journalists’ associations agreed to work out self-limiting rules that would be oriented toward encouraging reporting standards. vetoed the amendment.

The media’s evaluation of events is characterized by dramatically differing reports from leading media organizations. TV-Center and the popular tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets). which is a bad sign for pluralism in the media in the long run. the television company TVS shut down in June 2003 and the daily newspaper Vremya-MN). the latter is winning. changing from their role as spokespeople for democratic change under perestroika to tools in internal power struggles among the political and business elite in the latter part of the 1990s. with some of the media taking a stance close to the views of the old Yeltsin family (for example. In this battle. Most of the mass media remain far from a genuinely free. Petersburg group (for instance. Currently the media have for the most part reverted to one of the roles they played under the Soviet communist regime: the government’s propaganda apparatus. democratic fourth estate. however. Petersburg—is a good case in point. Conclusion During the last fifteen years the mass media have undergone a series of challenging metamorphoses. and others that show unequivocal sympathy for the St. Many of the necessary preconditions for this are still missing. The mass media stand a real chance of moving closer to Western media standards only with an open market economy and political democracy. .194 | The Mass Media those he brought to Moscow from St. including economic independence and a developed civil society capable of lobbying for more access to information and for freedom of speech.

published at the beginning of the 1970s. classifying such a concept as a category of bourgeois law. as an abstract. with the weakening of ideological restrictions they were able to make their concerns more public. comprehensive kind of justice. The influential four-volume work The Marxist-Leninist General Theory of the State and Law.”1 This view was not surprising. expressed in statute. however. is by its nature a disguise for class dictatorship. Many legal scholars had long harbored doubts about the communist system.”2 In other words. Marxist doctrine not only defines the state as “a machine for the subjugation of one class by another. rules over the state and over the political authority. known as perestroika. binding and limiting it.” but also views law as “the will of the ruling class.8 The Rule of Law Mikhail Krasnov oviet jurisprudence theory did not recognize the concept of a lawS governed state (meaning the control of law over power). Marxism-Leninism sees the value of law only insofar as it serves the interests of those in power. Such a view clearly directly contradicts the meaning of a law-governed state. states plainly: “The idea that law. naturally influenced traditional Soviet legal thought. whether understood as a supra-class norm of obligation. or as a natural right of man. Mikhail Gorbachev’s liberalization of the communist regime. Academics in educational and 195 . but had kept their thoughts under wraps for fear of losing their jobs or their freedom. and its legacy complicates Russia’s ability to construct a law-governed state.

but could not be substantively adopted at that time. Indeed. was a great deal more progressive than that of the average party bureaucrat. was experiencing an intellectual famine. on the other hand. The extent of innovation permitted by reformers was what Gorbachev called “socialism with a human face. the proclamation by the Nineteenth All-Union Party Conference of the CPSU—an event that played a key role in the liberalization of the regime—merely announcing an abstract course toward a “socialist. to the responsibility of the state before the citizen and the citizen before the state. In early 1988. The conference resolution states. they indicated that the CPSU’s leadership. Thus the idea of a law-governed state gradually made its way into the party apparatus in 1987 and 1988. these requests probed the state of mind of the academic intelligentsia. to raising the authority of the law and its strict observance by all Party and . The performance of this task is inseparably linked to guaranteeing the rights and liberties of Soviet man to the maximum. orders that were worded as virtual demands for fresh ideas were handed down from CPSU’s Central Committee to academic establishments. the country’s leadership as well. The fact that the ideological apparatus of the CPSU was suffering from a dearth of unconventional and innovative ideas was not surprising. which was. as a way of organizing the political authority fully in accordance with socialism. such as Aleksandr Yakovlev.196 | The Rule of Law research institutes began to discuss openly the distinction between the concepts of statute law and general law. Georgy Shakhnazarov. The Conference considers the creation of a socialist law-governed state. primarily the Institute of Law and Order of the USSR Academy of Sciences. conceptual—source of nourishment.” that is modernization within the framework of the communist system. since its goal for many years had been complete conformity of thought in the struggle against bourgeois tendencies. to be a matter of the highest importance. as well as the idea that the rights of man could be genuinely guaranteed only in a law-governed state. and Fyodor Burlatsky. they too demanded another intellectual—or.3 These debates in the academic community penetrated the ideological structures of the central organs of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). law-governed state” is not surprising. after all. Soviet leaders did not yet envision the social and governmental establishments undergoing sweeping radical change. On the one hand. Given this constraint. more precisely. Even though the thinking of certain individuals in the CPSU.

Had events developed otherwise. Fortunately. This was especially likely since the 1988 party conference had linked the idea mainly to the radical restructuring of law enforcement agencies. . The radical restructuring of these agencies’ activities ought to become the core of judicial reform. public organizations. and to the efficient work of law-enforcement agencies. the term socialist lawgoverned state might have passed into obscurity. this did not happen. which the Conference considers expeditious to accomplish in a comparatively short period of time. favorably conditioned public opinion to the concept of a law-governed state.Mikhail Krasnov | 197 government organs. The appearance of completely new thinking within the CPSU was an ideological signal to the party apparatus nationwide that led orthodox communists to view the party as sliding into revisionism. or even social democracy. The process of liberalization that gradually encompassed all spheres of life. Therefore the public saw its entry into more widespread discourse as a major turning point. the term law-governed state had traditionally belonged to the vocabulary of the elite. if not directly in politics. collectives and individual citizens. however. During this time—approximately 1989–1992—many prominent Russian jurists came forward with explanations of the meaning of a law-governed state.” The wording in the resolution indicates that the communist leadership was reviewing its conceptual and doctrinal mechanisms and was in the process of turning away from the Marxist-Leninist view of a law-governed state as one entirely hostile to communist theory. had the conservative. Unlike the term democracy.4 Note that the adjective “socialist” in the resolution changes the essence of the concept of a law-governed state in the same way that the essence of the term democracy is radically changed when it is used. which had been common among the masses. The resolution also introduced the idea of a law-governed state into more mainstream discourse. instinctively seized upon the law-governed state as an idea and popularized it. only in the collocation “socialist democracy. then at least in the attitudes of the ruling elite. Their explanations finally corresponded with the classical definitions. though not especially interested in its underlying political foundation. for example. orthodox forces in the CPSU leadership undergone a resurgence or had hard-liners triumphed in the August 1991 putsch. from the spiritual to the economic. That these shifts would have a lasting influence was by no means assured. Society. according to Lenin’s doctrine of class democracy.

the former is precisely the way in which many Russians envision a law-governed state. even prior to the ascension of formal law. for example.”6 This letter to the editor illustrates a serious problem. the concepts of democracy and the law-governed state are so closely intertwined that for the aims of this analysis.” Clearly. since the law is a system of commonly-binding social norms protected by the power of the state. The 1997 legal encyclopedia calls the lawgoverned state a type of state in which a regime of constitutional law operates. however. implying that the law reflects the tendencies of the state and is used to justify its actions instead of acting as an independent restraint. Nevertheless. in which the phrase was amended to appear as “the state should be bound with the law. the general perception of a law-governed state has differed from its academic definition. The original text of a public speech written for President Boris Yeltsin contained a statement that the state should be bound by law.198 | The Rule of Law However. and a developed and uniform legal system and effective judicial authority exist. this distinction is unnecessary. The Soviet critique of the law-governed state performed a positive service by defining the law-governed state in terms of the rule of law over the state. being of profound importance to civilization. the authorities . this small preposition radically altered the definition of a law-governed state. Not long ago. This distinction remains particularly difficult for many people. how accurate is their understanding? Is the government doing anything to educate the populace? While a democratic state should not promote ideology.’ even slave-owning states.5 Some might argue that many of these features describe a democratic system rather than a law-governed state. but rather as possessing natural worth. including politicians. The following is a striking illustration. under which the branches effectively interact and exercise control over one another while remaining accountable to the society in regard to political policy and authority. The president quickly presented his own corrected text. to grasp. The problem is that the law should not be viewed simply as an aggregate of statutes and other legislative acts. Do Russia’s citizens really understand the concept of a law-governed state? If so. the newspaper Trud published a reader’s letter that illustrates this widely held opinion. while there is at the same time a true separation of powers. The reader wrote that “all states are ‘governed by law.

had become widespread in Russia. because the usual attributes of a revolution were lacking. The revolution had no academic foundation. at the beginning. the thesis that Russia had reached its revolutionary limits became popular. a revolution took place in Russia that resulted in a massive change in the social and governmental order and in the country’s way of life. no clear leader. how far has Russia progressed on its way to becoming a law-governed state and is it really following that path? The Struggle for a Law-Governed State In 1990–1991. such as “dictatorship of the law. further deprived the events of revolutionary characteristics. Yet official documents and contemporary history textbooks remain silent about this revolution for several reasons. and. Second. What happened in Russia had not been premeditated. . no revolutionary political organization. through official policy statements and programs or through support of legal education programs by nongovernmental organizations. The unsteady evolution of Gorbachev’s and Yeltsin’s views in a democratic direction took place before the eyes of the public. for example.Mikhail Krasnov | 199 do have means of enlightening the public at their disposal. The fact that Russia’s leaders at the time held solid (even if incorrect) convictions about the future. high-ranking officials’ use of political slogans and catchphrases that misrepresent the meaning of a law-governed state. and a negative attitude toward the word revolution.000-year-old Russian state. Thus the idea of a new revolution aroused no romantic associations among former Soviet citizens. the destruction of the 1. This chapter now attempts to outline the development of Russia’s struggle for a law-governed state. by the end of the 1980s. Moreover. The Bolshevik revolution of 1917 had brought the country a bloody civil war. First. an appropriate political analysis of the revolution as such was impossible.” clearly hinders the concept of a law-governed state from developing into a collectively shared idea. the execution of millions of the country’s own citizens. and toward the phenomenon itself. Such catchphrases only promote an inaccurate concept of the law as an aggregation of rules originating from those in power. In the last ten years. and the drastic attempts to eradicate basic human instincts and needs.

Did it begin in May 1989. yet guaranteed. can it be characterized as a bourgeois-democratic revolution if Russia lacked a bourgeois class? Fourth. when the USSR Congress of People’s Deputies (CPD) opened. when the new Russian Constitution was adopted? This four-year period of uncertainty further obscures the revolutionary spirit of the transition. a robust civil society. understanding that their own way of life and the nature of public relationships were changing drastically. To begin with. Replacing the concept of revolution with the euphemism of reform has had a negative effect on the entire process of modernization. with the victory over the communist putschists? Or perhaps it originated on September 23. or on December 12. and civic responsibility. Had people understood that a revolution was occurring. In the absence of a large middle class. Because of the dramatic political changes. The leaders of the post-communist overhaul. They did not understand that change had ceased to be evolutionary and instead became revolutionary by the end of the Gorbachev era. social benefits to which people were accustomed. and continued to rely on the state’s paternalism. all . The focus on the characterization of this breakthrough period as a revolution arises from the fact that the public’s perception has had a critical influence on Russia’s development. however. the usual triggers that had once prompted state action no longer existed to produce the meager. as governance was moving from totalitarianism to rule by law. one cannot assign a singular date to this revolution. For example. In addition. the burden of democratization would have to rest upon the state. the great majority of people made the mistake of viewing the reform process simply as a transfer of power from one group of Moscow bureaucrats to another. however. with the adoption of Decree Number 1400. Such a revolutionary course of action would have required not just the introduction of economic and political liberties but a radical restructuring of the entire state mechanism.200 | The Rule of Law Third. marking the appearance of official opposition to the CPSU? Or did it start on August 21. 1993. In other words. nevertheless perceived themselves to be participants in a purely evolutionary process. their expectations would have been radically different. 1993. reference to these changes as reforms instead of a revolution affected the mindset and behavior of the ruling elite. 1991. simply defining the character of the revolution is difficult. traditions of democracy.

that a law-governed state is a construction that has outlived its usefulness for a postindustrial society. While recognizing the value of positive law. The absence of such renewal relegated the concept of a law-governed state to the neglected orbits of public interest. and on the other hand. But a law-governed state is in itself an achievement that is not to be reconsidered or discarded. Second. “I have come to give you freedom!” However. and so in rejecting the idea of a lawgoverned state (rather than any concrete institution embodying the idea). the options are limited. Consider what a law-governed state means. this did not occur. the public saw in the idea of a law-governed state an opportunity for governance to renew itself morally. a legal state in which written law is not based on natural law and is dominated by power. From this.Mikhail Krasnov | 201 government institutions should have been influenced by its momentum. and assure social stability. That was why the idea of a lawgoverned state became so popular in late Soviet society in the first place. It is one of the rare contemporary ideas that hold civilization together. society inevitably establishes the opposite. and the idea of obedience to the law is still not particularly popular. he did not do this. the Russian state has maintained a paternalistic relationship with its citizens. preferring to remain a sporadic liberalizer rather than a conscious liberal. Above all. First. Russia’s current political. As the Russian legal thinker Ivan Ilyin wrote: . Moral protest was more likely the leitmotif for the public’s support first of Gorbachev and then of Yeltsin. I disagree with such conclusions. and philosophical discussions occasionally suggest two contradictory veins of thought: on the one hand. in general. historical. In this postindustrial. the doctrine of a lawgoverned state nevertheless finds far greater value in natural law. not in keeping with Russian traditions and mentality. Yeltsin could have said. information age a sensible approach is to consider modifications of traditional constitutional democracy in terms of its ability to provide equal treatment of interests. protect rights and liberties. many analysts conclude that a natural legal nihilism is manifest among Russia’s citizens and that striving for a law-governed state is hopeless. Agreeing with either position is impossible. that is. The public also did not realize the value of freedom. Unfortunately. Thus the spirit of a law-governed state has never existed in Russia. throughout its changes of government. that this idea is. and still does not.

is the concentrated expression of the Russian people’s awareness of natural law. So why has obedience to the law taken root so poorly in Russia? This has occurred because the political regime has never had a sense of responsibility to the public. This passivity does not. disobedience. and where it is appropriate to oppose tyranny and crude force with all the might of legitimate and consistent.” Ilyin again offers a valuable insight: A developed awareness of the law always knows how to decide where the law begins and ends. and so could promulgate unjust and nonsensical laws without fear of punishment.8 . and therefore violates this equality only on the side of justice. A popular Russian saying illustrates the intellectual separation of the two: “Judge according to the law or according to the conscience. Russians have always had and continue to have their own opinions about every official act affecting their interests because they have the ability to distinguish justice from legality. People’s adaptation to the contemporary political environment has always been of a situational nature. a balance that guarantees everyone the same opportunity for a spiritually dignified life. having decided this question. as a rule. signify blind obedience. Meanwhile. competing groups. and. they were extremely hostile—and played games with the state. as distinct from written statutes.7 This is one of the most comprehensive and precise definitions of the natural law approach to the rule of law. to the point of heroism. it always knows how to make the appropriate practical conclusions: where it is appropriate to recognize and obey the law.202 | The Rule of Law [T]he value that lies at the heart of natural law is a dignified. They developed their own system of values within the existing positive law—toward which. the population remained outwardly patient while silently bearing and adapting to all sorts of state and bureaucratic tyranny. cheating it every step of the way. however. and where arbitrariness rears its head. This sense of justice. Such a life is possible only if it takes the form of peaceful and organized equality for all subjective. internally independent and externally free life for the entire multitude of individual souls that make up mankind.

9 This highlights the extent to which Russians’ sense of law equates law not only with freedom. spiritual. but only to liberate it—from the command administrative system. The Soviet model of distant relations between the authorities and the public was completely preserved. but from a change in the essence of the relationships between the state and the individual and between the authorities and society. However. the true transformation of a traditional society into a democratic one required more complex reform than mere liberation from administrative hindrances and fear. and from political.Mikhail Krasnov | 203 I do not assert that the Russian people have a developed awareness of the law. I am optimistic about the prospects for a law-governed state in Russia because the need for one is deeply felt. even though it demands many institutional and functional changes in government and public life. or in any case. People may reject exaggerated slogans. from censorship. however. and repudiates the conclusion that trying to uphold the law in Russia is hopeless. Clearly. however: reconciling positive law with the people’s natural understanding of law is a viable path for Russia. In other words. and the individual remained in the same servile condition as a subject of the state instead of a citizen. At that time. the post-Soviet authorities and the democratic political elite viewed the idea of a law-governed state primarily as propaganda. the concepts of democracy and . but also with egalitarianism and justice. and the fact that it never materialized became the decisive reason for the public’s dissatisfaction with what has taken place. 54 percent. The following is clear. ranked the equality of all citizens before the law first in the hierarchy of democratic values. One of the fundamental strategic mistakes embedded in Russia’s reform was its false paradigm. A law-governed state develops not from a simple set of certain technological and institutional transformations. The lack of a compelling idea that could mobilize public involvement also made itself felt psychologically. the post-Soviet Russian public instinctively awaited a greater change. By contrast. and economic prohibitions. According to survey data. but they do not reject the underlying issues of freedom and democracy. Reforms were intended not to reorganize the state. the method of reform did not allow the people to perceive the reforms as their own or as furthering their vested interests. both the elite and the public believed that economic and political liberalization and the privatization of national property could transform the country. as an idea of secondary importance. if only because such awareness presupposes high-level moral development. ten years after the start of reforms the largest number of respondents.

By 1995 or thereabouts. The yearning for order can also be classified as a motivational idea or an ideal. but order. and extortionists rushed into the newly created business sphere hoping to capitalize on its vacuum. Furthermore. swindlers. yet reformers were unable to offer other alternatives. championing neither democracy nor freedom. for example. Unsurprisingly. Russians still could not believe the huge gap in standards of living between Russia and the developed West. such as university instructors. after all. Their visible presence and ostentatious. including Yeltsin. nouveau riche lifestyle engendered contempt and indignation. Reforms increasingly proved unjust. and engineers. those running for president in the 1996 elections. the process of reform was accompanied by the process of opening Russia to the outside world and the outside world to Russia. In post-Soviet . Russian society resembled and continues to resemble an hourglass. succeeded not because of their brutality. the lack of focus on the institutional construction of the lawgoverned state negatively affected another segment of the reform process. In the absence of a large middle class. and the idea of order becomes an alternative to the idea of a law-governed state. economic freedom began to seem like freedom reserved exclusively for unscrupulous individuals. Criminals. ideals. The Bolsheviks.204 | The Rule of Law the free market could not have a motivating effect because they were not. the public demands any kind of order.10 Finally. medical personnel. were especially sensitive to the apparent gap. Highly and moderately qualified working people. This is an extremely dangerous state of affairs for a democratic country. In the absence of legal order. frustration with these processes led to a public outcry for order. but the lack of order—which can also be construed as the public authorities’ inability to execute their basic functions effectively—gives rise to longings that are removed from the values of freedom. seized upon this need. The collapse of the communist ideal can be explained in a similar way: it is more attributable to the loss of social activism and ideological motivation than to the economic crisis of the 1970s. This had a particularly significant effect on the psychology of society: in the public’s eyes. which allowed Russians to evaluate their standard of living in comparison with that in the West. albeit one whose upper end is significantly smaller than its lower end. but because they were able to put lofty ideas into action and inspire the masses. This was facilitated by the heightened informational connectivity of the 1990s. itself a consequence of the motivation shortfall.

but which brought about no fundamental changes in the way power was wielded. and . whose implementation was intended to rid society of inquisitional justice. This is how the super-corporation Gazprom came about. The Soviet system had been propped up with repressive methods that guaranteed unlimited power to the ruling elite.Mikhail Krasnov | 205 Russia. one cannot say that the first reformers attached no significance to the building of a democratic state. Self-protection mechanisms developed under this system were not legalistic. presupposes subordination to legal norms by the people as well as by the authorities. but were relatively effective. one of the guarantees of a law-governed state. was broken up following the putsch of August 1991. Other major projects and resolutions from that initial state-building period of reform are also noteworthy. albeit somewhat formally and mechanically. the system of executive power agencies began to change. No longer motivated by the fear of a repressive party-state machine or of illegitimate governmental force. The KGB. and assured the system’s inviolability. one of the pillars of the totalitarian edifice. A democratic system. then at least a kind of fear of the operation of the law. new corporations appeared in place of some ministries. To the contrary. the Ministry of Security and Internal Affairs. freedom. the authorities failed to replace it with another motivation: if not respect for. although the Constitutional Court of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) later declared the establishment of this agency to be unconstitutional. That allowed Yeltsin to issue a decree soon afterward creating a new super-agency. Because of the privatization of certain economic sectors. did not recognize the private sphere. they started with this ideal in mind. slogans on which society had instinctively pinned its hopes. and governance is implemented not in a personalized. Fear was omnipresent in relations between the authorities and their subjects. while the latter saw it as an opportunity to declare new principles of statehood and to create a constitutional order. The concept of judicial reform. Gossnab. In addition. Of course. and human rights. was approved in 1991 by the Russian congress. employed harsh forms of centralization. Gosplan. Why did communists and democrats support the first major act of the Russian CPD: Russia’s declaration of sovereignty from the USSR? They did so because the former saw this as a way to distance themselves from Gorbachev’s policies. the notion of a law-governed state met the fate of other concepts such as democracy. but in a legal manner. a regime based on constitutional law. by contrast. that is.

The Soviet governmental structure. The new economic relationships demanded that the functions of many ministries and agencies be changed. somewhat modernized during perestroika. No revolution pledges to observe the fundamental laws of the regime against which it has been waged. in reality force always precedes law. or in other words. . neither he nor anyone in his immediate circle took the necessary. 1993. In a legal sense. an endeavor to realize general ideas and put new institutions in place. Yet all of this was macro-state building. The authorities were much less concerned with how these institutions were going to function. Strictly speaking. All this nascent work was impeded by the political conflict between the president and the legislative branch (the RSFSR CPD and the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR). in the post-Soviet political context. were eliminated altogether. since after the victory in the communist putsch in August 1991. a system of agencies for local self-government began to take shape. and will continue to take precedence over it so long as the law has not gathered adequate strength to break the power of lawlessness. who would supervise the transformation of the new Russian state into a lawgoverned state and how. one cannot speak of violation of the constitution when one means the RSFSR Constitution of 1978. At the same time. to declare the RSFSR Constitution of 1978 invalid and to shut down the semi-Soviet CPD and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. and most important.”11 Nevertheless. was preserved intact. including the absolute power of the soviets and the vertical structure of the representative organs. bureaus of the state-run economy. nor can one bemoan the illegal dissolution of parliament— something that the Congress never was—since both had retained the hallmarks of Soviet-style government. Furthermore. which became public after the start of radical economic liberalization in 1992. As Ferdinand LaSalle wrote: “Although law should undoubtedly take precedence over force. Yeltsin was right to use his Decree Number 1400 of September 21. This was his own fault. the political elites’ unwillingness to perceive what was happening as a revolution was what led to the public misunderstanding of Yeltsin’s actions. the conflict itself was brought about in large measure by the elites’ unwillingness to see the political and socioeconomic changes that were taking place in society as revolutionary. who would carry out the new judicial policies. and many ceased to manage state enterprises directly. consistent steps to bring about a legitimate change in the essence of state power.206 | The Rule of Law Goskomtsen.

At the same time. parliament. which under the circumstances of 1991 he could have achieved without violence and would have helped to avoid violence in 1993. Yeltsin and his government gave priority to economic . administrative. In the absence of an established program to which to adhere. or political reforms were ever carried out in full. Simply put. Another reason also accounts for why none of the government’s major military. Moreover. In trying to perpetuate a dual role both as Soviet heirs and new democrats. Yet despite its internal inconsistencies. it influenced the results of the transformation and society’s current situation. It promulgated a different concept of statehood. Thus the failure to comprehend the changes in Russia as a revolution adversely affected the entire transformation process. More than that. events were often dictated by power struggles: initially the reformers were an instrument of the Russian government’s conflict with the Union. the technical model of constitutional transition in Russia could have been different from the one undertaken in the fall of 1993. The main flaw in the state-building reforms was their reactive character. They did not follow a systematically developed plan. and maintaining the link with Soviet Russia through the extension of the RSFSR Constitution of 1978 would have been unacceptable. then they became a tool of the president of the Russian Federation in his battle against the CPD. and again in 1993 (although the main opponent always remained the system itself). Such a paradigm would have called for the convocation of a constituent assembly or a constitutional convention. the desire to carry out further reforms diminished. observing the letter of the constitution does not always mean that its spirit is observed as well. the reform process has nevertheless led to the creation of the democratic Russian Constitution. The Bolsheviks had created—and officially proclaimed—a completely new state. Yeltsin’s mistake was again to reject the need to make such a transition within a revolutionary paradigm. The period of Bolshevik rule therefore cannot be considered simply the government of a different ideology. judicial. since it lacks the backing of a developed civil society that rightfully considers the constitution to be a social contract equally binding on all parties. the constitution stifles its democratic spirit itself through the imbalance of authority distributed among the main power triangle of president.Mikhail Krasnov | 207 Nevertheless. the post-Soviet authorities disoriented themselves. In many ways. today the constitution is essentially flapping in the wind. the Russian people. and government. Thus as soon as a tangible opponent disappeared in 1991. and the entire world.

beginning with the first in 1994. Yet while it undoubtedly accords some stability. New hopes for the consistent implementation of state-building reforms arose after the presidential elections of 1996. it cannot take the place of a transparent and comprehensible political system. the record of achievement has been mixed regarding the creating of rule of law. and the courts. allowing legislators to pursue their own agendas. in judicial terms the Russian Constitution is of high quality. Even though virtually all of Yeltsin’s messages. Thus the very concept of reform de facto came to refer primarily to economic reforms. State institutions such as the army. the economic bloc within the new government quickly became dominant and started pursuing its own priorities. Moreover. As a result. Yeltsin himself soon ceased counting on these messages’ effectiveness and shifted his attention to more customary instruments of power. were treated as ordinary budgetary items. However. Finally. as well as such alternative priorities on the part of his new inner circle such as image making. This attitude is evident in the history of the president’s annual message to the Federal Assembly (the equivalent of the president’s State of the Union message in the United States). the economic situation at the beginning of the 1990s was such that without radical liberalization a catastrophe would have occurred. Society cannot discern which political force is responsible for governing. in a country that has constitutionally . First. such as personnel appointments. They failed because the policy recommendations outlined in these speeches were not linked to state budgets. while it viewed the state primarily as an instrument that should help (or at least not hinder) these processes. dealt directly with the publicly popular topic of strengthening the new state. The Outcome By the end of the 1990s. Moreover. the police. Privatization and the creation of a property owning class took precedence on its agenda. Without a doubt. which were not directly related to the division of property. but Yeltsin’s deteriorating health.208 | The Rule of Law reforms at the expense of governmental and legal reforms. prevented judicial and administrative reform projects from taking on a new life. a failure to execute presidential directives went unpunished. his speeches proved ineffective. no clear opposition force can emerge.

the Criminal Code. the circuit principle of court jurisdiction. the legal system has undoubtedly been refined. Yet these changes cannot be called anything more than refinements— they are not attempts at deep reform of the legal system. In addition to these reforms. Courts spun out of the purview of the Ministry of Justice to become more independent and arbitration courts were introduced. a law on administrative courts (courts specializing in civil suits against the authorities) is being developed. even today an effective system for the protection of rights has not been thoroughly established. extending it to the rest of the country was impossible for budgetary reasons. The judicial branch was becoming specialized in constitutional. for instance. Trial by jury was introduced in nine constituent entities of the Russian Federation. and the Civil Code finally replaced the slightly amended Soviet era codes. Nor does Russia have a comprehensive legal framework that encompasses fully fledged appellate courts. militarized. attention is shifting to the sphere of administrative reform. and while sociological studies show . Russian politics continue to be plagued by ad hominem declamations. genuinely independent. and the diminished weight of publicity. and effective system of justice that includes modern civil and criminal procedures that presume the equality of the parties involved and their right to contest. Under President Vladimir Putin. and the financing of the court system is growing. general. the institution of justices of the peace is being created. The country is dominated by a repressive. Second. which has finally allowed the jury system to be extended to the entire country. Bailiffs were introduced as physical protectors for those involved in court cases. Stalinist era law enforcement system. Criminal and civil proceedings were somewhat amended. a law on the legal profession and amendments to the legislation on the status of judges were passed. Despite such advances.Mikhail Krasnov | 209 proclaimed itself to be a democratic and law-governed state. reform of the internal affairs organs has been announced. arbitration. and administrative law. Russia does not yet have an accessible. The 1991 concept of judicial reform was at least partially realized during Yeltsin’s administration. an entirely abnormal state of affairs persists: the left flank of the political spectrum is controlled by a party whose neocommunist platform runs completely counter to the values of a law-governed state. To make matters worse. New procedural codes. According to the official explanation. The latter requires trust in the abilities of the individual. Thus elections in all the branches of government are often stripped of meaning and are becoming criminalized.

While the concept of order is not inimical to that of freedom. All this involuntarily fosters a pyramidal philosophy in which fear plays a key motivational role. oligarchic one. instead producing a clannish. and civic consciousness depends on the sociopolitical environment in which the reforms begin. in which modern democracy and the development of a law-governed state are rooted. It rejects the principle of responsibility. and at this time the quality of that environment does not seem to be conducive to any significant changes in the direction of a law-governed state. . for instance. unsystematic. since this unraveling was anarchic. In this kind of environment. few take seriously words about developing civil society and awkward government attempts to show its respect of nongovernmental organizations. a law-governed state cannot be constructed without this philosophical component. One is that the general weakness of the executive system has transformed the public drive for democracy and freedom into a drive for order (see chapter 11). indicate that the strengthening of the state is thought of specifically in bureaucratic terms. by organizing the Civic Forum (see chapter 6). Whether the legal institutions and procedures that accompany reforms are able to stimulate people’s abilities. the untrained “Russian liberalism” discredited the concept of liberalism by failing to make the economy independent and simultaneously left it open to unregulated opportunism. and chaotic rather than liberal. government practice and the methodology of state reform lack that impulse. Two instances of the current sociopolitical atmosphere can be cited. judicial. Not only phrases such as the vertical power structure and the dictatorship of the law that have been voiced by the political elite. This reaction to the unraveling of the state is reasonable. or law enforcement area. in Russia’s circumstances both the authorities and society generally understand order as a component of a hierarchical and not of a democratic system. creativity. Its very constitutional construction stands in the way of the system becoming a normal party system. but also actual political practice. is unlikely to produce the desired effect. The other instance is that the political system as it is now is more appropriate for a personality-driven regime than a self-regulated system.210 | The Rule of Law that about 60 percent of the population are striving to free themselves from the philosophy of state paternalism. That is why current reform. The construction of a law-governed state will remain unlikely until the political system itself is reformed through constitutional reform. Indeed. whether in the administrative. Meanwhile.

As was true for most of the twentieth century. However. As a result. organs of local selfgovernment. however. anything communal is ennobled. the system of relations between the Russian Federation and its constituent entities and between the latter and organs of local self-government . but on his own initiative as well. This is a perpetuation of Soviet paternalism. could simply be appealed by individual citizens in court. representative (legislative) and executive organs of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. an administrative logic usually prevails: let the constituent entities of the Russian Federation bring their own legislation in line with federal laws or risk the wrath of Moscow. organs of military command. The prosecutor general has indeed begun to act in accordance with this. citizens are encouraged to submit their complaints through administrative channels. state committees. not only upon the request of individual citizens. the prosecutor general either informs the accused transgressor or goes to court. and other federal executive agencies. The problem is that even when substantiating evidence of the alleged violation is lacking. part of the notorious common jurisdiction of the Office of the Prosecutor General is ensuring the observance of human and civil rights and freedoms by federal ministries. In this way the state discourages individual citizens from acting independently in the judicial defense of their violated rights. according to the federal Law on the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation. Russia still lacks a system for the thoroughgoing defense of liberty. For example. but instead. The Office of the Prosecutor General also gets a kind of commission from legal entities: 10 percent of the funds an enterprise or organization receives as a result of the prosecutor general’s initiative. sharp political conflicts often arise. anything personal and private automatically seems to be suspicious. their officials. services. This practice also applies to the problem of regional legislation that is not in accordance with federal legislation. and the organs of management and heads of commercial and non-commercial organizations. under the pretext of preventing violations of human rights. The federal government spends an enormous amount of time and effort trying to overcome these inconsistencies.Mikhail Krasnov | 211 Third. As in Soviet times. organs of control. these legislative acts. Fourth. most of which violate the rights of particular constituencies.

The actual practice of power. In addition. under the current system. but in its ability to transform the philosophy of public life. Sixth. toward transforming the governmental apparatus into a system that serves the shared public interest. as before. bureaucrats’ expectations are still linked to them. Fifth.212 | The Rule of Law remains confused. and toward making institutions conducive to free creativity and solidarity. The basis of this philosophy is trust in the individual and the individual’s independence. and operable mechanisms of responsibility. As concerns the functioning of these institutions. Disdain for such legal concepts as competence plays a substantial role in the perpetuation of confusion. . the departments of the government apparatus. Moreover. primary and secondary institutions have been created and the latter are striving to elevate their status. For the people. While command methods have not made a comeback. not paternalism. All this demands an understanding of the political significance of lawful methods of governance and a host of qualified judges and jurists. reform of the civil service. The public. these incomplete reforms are less important than the tragic stagnation of the direction of state transformation. conflicts of interest often arise. and performs the services. Russia still lacks a rational system of institutions within the executive branch. that is. of which it has no fewer than seven different types. The system of relations between federal and regional entities assumes the presence of strict. ministers are unable to set the strategy for development within their areas of interest and bear no political responsibility. ought to foster freedom. clear. This is largely because they have vice premiers superior to them keeping an eye on things. this means that bureaucrats still serve their supervisors rather than the public good. The power of a law-governed state lies not in its institutional content. Russia has still not undergone a bureaucratic revolution. and also because of the operation of filters. such that the same agency both sets the rules of the game and issues the licenses and certificates. as well as effectively functioning institutions of control and the enforcement of responsibility. that is. Thus the bureaucracy remains based on Sovietera nomenklatura principles. has no sense of the urgent need that governmental and legal reform be directed toward changing the way power is exercised. However. grants accreditation. including the methodology of reforms.

If not accompanied by further development of federalism. divided into twenty smaller appanage principalities. Consequently. Russian federalism serves as a ritual rather than as a function. Russian federalism has many elements that are decorative rather than substantive and that appear similar to their Western analogues but have a different essence. The zemsky sobor of the six213 . the current situation is unstable. centralized. semi-authoritarian. which rotated the leadership among the thrones of different principalities. the creation of Russia’s federal A system was perhaps the greatest achievement of the first decade of postSoviet Russia. What is called federalism in Russia is a mixture of federal features along with a weak. unitary state. the Great Rus was a very loose confederation of eleven large Russian principalities. in which the central is opposed by quasi-democratic.9 Federalism Nikolai Petrov long with the regular holding of elections. Like Russian democracy. strengthening and re-centralizing the state could lead toward the restoration of a type of federalism akin to that which characterized the Soviet state. regional elites. Origins of Federalism in Russia The roots of Russian federalism can be traced as far back as the eleventh and twelfth centuries to the Kievan Rus of the Rurik dynasty. Under the rule of the Golden Horde in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

The real Soviet innovation was combining ethnic and territorial principles into the state’s administrative territorial structure. itself a pseudo federation inside another pseudo federation (the USSR). meaning . artificial. and grassroots democracy were totally absent before the present period. many subjects of the federation recently marked bicentennial anniversaries harkening back to the administrative reforms of Catherine the Great. where three-quarters of the federation’s population and two-thirds of its regions are located. After the experiment with regional enlargement in the 1920s and early 1930s. but also national. once the postrevolution withering away of states and national differences occurred.1 Moreover. and the gradual introduction of the zemstvo system challenge the widespread view that traditions of local self-rule. The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR). the Soviets returned to the old gubernia-like pattern. Stalin’s 1936 constitution codified a highly centralized authoritarian state with certain decorative elements mimicking ethnic federalism. Arguing that Russia’s contemporary regional borders are relatively new. The argument is especially misleading with regard to the European part of the country. and a number of forms of regional autonomy. and believed that their shape could be manipulated to win allies. with its own constitution and parliament. National-territorial administrative units emerged during the civil war and later during the construction of the socialist state. After the revolution succeeded in Russia but failed internationally. the state developed a vertical power structure. This arrangement was in many ways similar to that in modern China. employed the “raisins in a loaf” model for about a dozen first-tier ethnic units and about a dozen more second-tier ethnic units inside the “ordinary” regions. seemingly without consequence. Given such diversity.214 | Federalism teenth century (deliberative assemblies with elections and representation determined according to estates).2 The Bolsheviks’ use of national-territorial administrative units in building the Soviet state reflected both their co-optation and manipulation of ethnic movements in their struggle for domestic political power and their plans for spreading communism. to the Central Asian khanates. a variety of political institutions. federalism. these measures of decentralization occurred in the heterogeneous Russian Empire.3 They considered not only regional. where vastly diverse territories ranged from Finland. borders to be of minor importance on the eve of the expected world revolution. and are simply a by-product of Joseph Stalin’s red pencil is an exaggeration. Indeed.

In the case of the Irkutsk and Ust-Orda autonomous okrugs. one autonomous oblast. The law allows not only for expanding the federation’s membership. the Russian Federation consists of twenty-one republics. Tomsk. the most probable scenario is including autonomous okrugs into their mother regions. The Russian Federation has replicated the federal-unitary ethnic-territorial structure of the USSR. some progress toward a merger agreement has already been made. even though one autonomous okrug. were considered to be ethnic homelands for some four dozen indigenous ethnic groups.4 It was only in the early 1990s that some elements of federalism appeared in Russia. The fifteen secondary units were inherited from the hierarchical.Nikolai Petrov | 215 that Russian federalism at that time did not exist in any real sense. with autonomous oblasts within krais and autonomous okrugs within krais and oblasts.5 All the secondary units—five autonomous oblasts and ten autonomous or rayons—as well as sixteen primary units (autonomous republics). the other nine okrugs are still considered parts of krais and oblasts as well as subjects of the federation themselves. but also for enlarging its existing regions through the consolidation of federal components. the Federal Assembly passed a law on bringing new regions into the Russian Federation. This contradiction is another legacy of the Soviet constitution. and consisted of six krais. ten autonomous okrugs. In 2001. is a completely independent subject of the federation. and the cities of Moscow and St. six krais. except perhaps for Tyumen Oblast’s two northern oil and gas okrugs. . Petersburg with their adjacent oblasts and uniting the Kemerovo. Until 1990. Despite the long discussions about combining Moscow and St. the Russian Federation was made up of eighty-eight administrative units: seventy-three primary and fifteen secondary (with the latter being subordinated to the former). The end of communism was accompanied by the “republicanization” of Russia. a total of eighty-nine federal components. matroshka doll-like structure of the Soviet state. forty-nine oblasts. and most of the autonomous okrugs declared sovereignty. The remaining fifty-seven regions were simple territorial or “proper Russian” units. Chukotka.7 To further complicate the picture. forty-nine oblasts. All the former autonomous republics and four of the five autonomous oblasts declared themselves republics.6 Under the 1993 constitution. freeing themselves from the control of their corresponding oblast or krai and becoming members or subjects of the federation in their own right. and Altai krais in southern Siberia. and the cities of Moscow and Leningrad. Petersburg.

Regional elites picked up a number of powers that the federal center had dropped. where reforms have lingered too long. The simultaneous election of these independently legitimate and ambitious legislatures and the emergence of opposition within the soviets nearly paralyzed the government. where old elites have quickly regained control. and unique—must be understood in the context of the country’s recent political history and climate. yet attempts by local elites to display initiative and grab something .216 | Federalism Dynamics of Federalism in Post-Communist Russia Russian federalism—young. This problem was resolved on a first come. The situation was resolved first by the creation of parliamentary-presidential systems and then by the dissolution of the soviets in 1993. Without elections federalism in its present form would not exist at all. the dirty secret of Russian federalism is that Russia lacks federalism. The semi-elections of deputies to the new RSFSR Congress of People’s Deputies (CPD) and to the regional soviets in March 1990 provided the impetus for the nationwide federalization of the early 1990s. The Russian Federation is a product of the political instability of the past decade and a half. Elections Elections are the key to understanding the first phase of the federalization process: the so-called parade of sovereignties. Russian federalism emerged as a result of a temporary weakening of the center and a relative strengthening of the regional elites. Put another way. Despite being more virtual than real. This system instead consists of the temporarily weakened federal center. and the regional centers. Weakly rooted in society. immature. first served basis. the design of Russian federalism largely reflects the balance of power between central and regional political elites during the period of political instability of the late Soviet and post-Soviet revolutionary period. which took place in 1990–1991. if they ever lost it at all. the idea of Russian federalism has shaped both elite and public opinion in a positive manner and put on the agenda those questions that need to be answered to fill out the institutional infrastructure of genuine federalism. The strength of opposition groups in the soviets at various levels in 1991 raised the issue of the source and delegation (downward or upward) of sovereignty.

and local elites and acts as a catalyst for all other political processes. the intermediate regional level came to occupy the dominant position. he distributed gifts and money everywhere and signed decrees on new regional development programs. Only during the 1989 elections did large. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev. territorial election districts incorporate several regions. compelled federal elites to seek the support of regional elites.Nikolai Petrov | 217 for themselves were mostly thwarted. especially when regional leaders had changed. The boundaries of election constituencies coincide with those of regions. some regional elites attempted to organize against the Kremlin. This posed such a problem that the center would even support certain gubernatorial candidates who engaged in populist. as discussed . He also endorsed a salvo of bilateral agreements with a dozen regions that gave them greater control over their natural and financial resources.8 Moreover. Until recently all elections. and Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiyev. Mostly such arrangements included replacing presidential representatives and other federal officials with individuals more acceptable to the new governors. the center would agree to various concessions to establish better relations with newly elected governors. to consolidate and take an active part in the power struggle at the center was foiled. The center also had to agree to concessions and shower gifts and promises on regional leaders to secure their support in federal elections. have worked against the power of the central government. It delegated a portion of its authority upward to the federal center and another portion downward to cities and rayons. which ultimately promoted decentralization. As a result. The electoral process sets in motion the mechanism encouraging political bargaining between the central. Instead. especially during electoral campaigns. regional. each region is entitled to at least one State Duma seat regardless of the number of voters living there. anti-Moscow rhetoric. In this electoral cycle. Elections continue to be perhaps the most important component of federalism. after the elections. Moreover. Such rhetoric allowed candidates who were actually loyal to Moscow to assume the image of regional patriots and strengthen their position against opponents more hostile to the center. The 1999–2000 election cycle was an exception. when Boris Yeltsin toured two dozen regions. local or federal. national. St. led by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. The attempt by regional elites under the electoral alliance Fatherland-All Russia. During the 1996 presidential campaign. The power struggle at the center.

signed the treaty with special conditions attached. this agreement . Some aspects of the Soviet system. and Chukotka followed. Unity. The Instability of Asymmetries The Soviet legacy has had a profound influence on Russia’s unique form of asymmetrical federalism. the center was able to continue its offensive against governors’ rights and privileges. and only four days after Ukraine’s declaration. Gorbachev attempted to bypass Russia’s leadership and invited the leaders of some of the Russian autonomous republics to sign the new Union Treaty with the leaders of the Union republics. appealed to the autonomous republics to seize as much sovereignty as they could handle. regional elites rallied in support of Unity even before the rise of Vladimir Putin. regional elites have cooperated and coordinated with the Kremlin on election-related issues. Thus after the dust of the Soviet Union’s collapse had settled and republics were signing Yeltsin’s new Federal Treaty in March 1992. Consequently. designed after Gorbachev’s aborted Union Treaty. were inherited directly without fundamental changes.10 Yeltsin. Opportunities to accept sovereignty differed in each republic.9 Northern Ossetia was the first autonomous republic to issue a declaration of sovereignty a year after similar declarations by the Baltic republics. Nevertheless. The chain reaction continued when Karelia.11 Several other republics. These peculiarities have contributed to the instability of the post-Soviet Russian federal state. Yakutia. The parade resulted from the epic power struggle between Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin. The cascade of declarations of sovereignty among Russia’s autonomous regions can be seen as a legacy of the late Soviet era’s period of state disintegration and a continuation of what happened with the republics of the Soviet Union. such as Bashkortostan and Yakutia. in turn. and Tatarstan declared sovereignty and Udmurtia. emerged victorious. the Kremlin’s own creation. Since Putin has become president. In other respects. a month after Russia’s declaration. such as its ethno-territorial structure. Anticipating the loss of their freedoms and eager to assure their preservation. the republics of Tatarstan and Chechnya refused to sign. the collapse of the USSR had a profound effect.218 | Federalism in chapter 2. however. resulting in a series of both legal and institutional asymmetries. Komi. Varying political climates also led to different results.

but to some extent it diminished differences in status between regions. like Tatarstan and Chechnya.Nikolai Petrov | 219 marked a giant step toward genuine federalism and the process of holding the federation together. the increasing proportion of local ethnic groups in local leadership. National groups held their own congresses in 1990–1992. It did not. which was a united republic until 1991. adopted in 1993 after the end of an intense power struggle in the center. Not only did the Federal Treaty provide the legal basis for the Russian Federation. as in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. the World Chuvash Council. As a result. Some republics. which would have given the ethnic republics the same status as oblasts and krais by making all 89 regions “subjects of the federation. take power.3 million. however. also broke with the Soviet past and introduced the norms and institutions of a real federation.12 Rebellion Against the Center: The Tatar and Chechen Models Both Tatarstan and Chechnya. Similar attempts in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachaevo-Cherkessia failed. This latter change was important because of the rise of ethnic sentiments and nationalist movements in the ethnic republics. the Mary-El Council. The bodies established included the Tatar World Congress. creating leadership bodies for each nation.” Republic presidents were not happy with the draft constitution. It declared the Chechen Republic independent and elected its leader. Such mobilization along ethnic lines was reflected in the rapid strengthening of national cultural movements. refused even to hold the referendum vote. did such a congress. respectively. and the rising ethnic unrest. Only in Checheno-Ingushetia. and the failure of the December 1993 referendum on the constitution to win even a simple majority in many republics was not surprising. including its diasporas. and the All-National Congress of the Chechen People.6 million and 1. include the federal treaties. as president. Regional authorities later stopped or. General Jokhar Dudayev. co-opted these nationalist movements. Muslim republics with populations of 3. Many regional authorities came to power on the wave of nationalist movements. but then distanced themselves from national radicals and took control of national congresses. The new Russian Constitution. the Chechen-Ingush republic became the only republic to split in two. refused to sign the Federal Treaty in . thereby weakening the ethnic character of Russian federalism. the All-National Congress of the Chechen People.

Yeltsin decided that he needed to take urgent surgical action with regard to Chechnya. Azerbaijan. and therefore became as much about who would hold power in Russia as about who would lead. while Chechnya serves as a negative . Chechnya and Tatarstan played an important role in Russian politics at the federal level. Yeltsin needed a little victorious war to restore his image as a decisive leader and an effective guarantor of the constitution. Yeltsin’s inner circle or “family” selected an almost unknown person. In 1994.14 Refusing to compromise on the issue of secession. both military and civilian. Once begun. Tatarstan’s former communist leadership used different tactics. Chechnya’s conflict with Moscow immediately escalated into violence and war.220 | Federalism 1992. Yeltsin became a butcher rather than a surgeon. While Tatarstan and Chechnya have much in common.15 In sum. the idea being that he would position himself as a strong leader and the consolidator of the nation. in 1990 had Yeltsin possessed the appropriate surgical instruments and had the opponent been unarmed (as in Baku). and (3) exacerbation of ethnic hatreds and the emergence of a nation at war mentality that can only undermine democracy and federalism. Instead. Neither participated in the March 1991 referendum on the creation of the Russian presidency or in the elections of the president three months later. The war in Chechnya has all the negative characteristics of the typical civil war: (1) atrocities and a huge death toll. Vladimir Putin. and Chechnya became an armed warrior rather than a sedated patient. In the first instance. They did elect their own presidents in an effort to present a more united front in their confrontations with Moscow.13 One of the most important differences was the rise in Chechnya of unskilled radical leaders amid military and tribal traditions and plentiful weapons. Both the 1994 and 1999 wars in Chechnya started on the eve of Russian elections. the ongoing war in Chechnya became a key and permanent factor in Russian politics ever since. (2) large-scale destruction and the loss of large amounts of material and financial resources (amid conditions of an already weak economy). Tatarstan serves as a positive model for settling differences about the structure of Russian federalism. Things might have gone as well as they had for Gorbachev in Baku. The second war was intended to facilitate the smooth transfer of power from Yeltsin to a handpicked successor. how they treated the center and how the center treated them differed significantly. seeking compromise while insisting on broad sovereignty in “association with” the Federation.

First. rendering the federation asymmetrical. but for the stability of the federal state as a whole.16 Several points are important in connection with the treaties. and control over their natural resources and property. because it forces Moscow to seek compromise with other regions to avoid another crisis that could lead to two simultaneous civil wars. This process made some regions “more equal” than others. and second. Bashkortostan. At the same time. Although Chechnya could become the tomb of Russian federalism in the future. each on a different basis that reflected the balance of power between the region and the center. As the political balance has shifted to favor the center under Putin. and the organs of local self-administration. varied depending on the different weights of each region and the types of powers extended. the intergovernmental agreements that followed them. and Yakutia gave these powerful regions a single-channel taxation system. Several regions rejoined the federation. while other regions got far less. the war in Chechnya prevents the center from attempting to reestablish hyper-centralized rule first. federal and regional commissions were established to delimit powers and competences between the federal organs of state power. Thus treaties with Tatarstan. direct participation in foreign politics. By the . forty-five more regions signed similar agreements with Moscow during the next four years. Ingushetia’s free economic zone. at present it is preventing backsliding toward unitary rule. which existed until the end of the first war. the treaties or. serves as a good example of such compromise. Separate Negotiations: The Federal Treaty The parade of sovereignties of 1990–1991 was followed by the parade of bilateral treaties between the center and individual regions that concluded in 1994–1998. This asymmetry has attracted a good deal of attention from scholars and other analysts. These treaties were used to define the boundaries of authorities between Moscow and regional governments. more precisely. After the first bilateral treaty on the division of power and competences between the chief executives of a region and Moscow was signed with Tatarstan in February 1994. the process of abrogating and rewriting the treaties has also got under way. the organs of state power in the regions. Second. demonstrating how failure to compromise can be dangerous not only for Moscow and Grozny. In 2001. because it has been rendered too weak to accomplish the task. in effect the long parade of treaties constituted the signing of a new federal treaty in a more drawn out form.Nikolai Petrov | 221 model.

The Jewish Autonomous Oblast was the only one to retain its old name—all the others became republics—but the Jewish Autonomous Oblast is no longer part of Khabarovsk Krai. The speed of treaty abrogation with oblasts and krais has been striking.222 | Federalism end of 2002. although it was never the biggest. when. making the sabotage of regional election outcomes easier. Oblast and krai authorities were confronted by the first signs of disobedience in 1994 during the elections to regional legislatures. During the movement for sovereignty in the early 1990s. The first thing that the okrug governments did was to separate local and oblast-wide elections. when the masses are inevitably drawn into struggles for independence. richest. for instance. The treaty between Russia and its capital is also still on the books. although none of the treaties with major autonomous republics have been eliminated. One of the main incongruities in Russia’s territorial and state structure is the existence of two tiers of regions and their autonomous okrugs. only the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug managed to separate itself from its mother region. adopting the Law on Elections of the Tyumen Oblast Governor on the Territory of the Khanty-Mansiisky Okrug. however. The main instruments of this game include sabotage and ignoring the results of elections that bring irreconcilable opponents of the Kremlin to power in a regional or provincial capital. The others had to reconcile themselves with the status quo. Of the ten autonomous okrugs. when problems with Kamchatka’s Koryak Okrug and Arkhangelsk’s okrug reemerged. autonomous entities made an attempt to break free from their mother regions and acquire independence. The problem of North Tyumen’s rich and populous okrugs reached an unprecedented level. Koryak Okrug simply refused to elect deputies to the Kamchatka Oblast Duma. Now that social activism has slackened. which stipulated that to win the Tyumen gubernatorial election a candidate had to win 50 percent . This is not the case during elections. the problem of the status of autonomous okrugs has ceased to concern the public and remains an issue only among political and economic elites. This is both unique and peculiar. The situation worsened during the 1996 gubernatorial elections. Seven krais and oblasts incorporate ten autonomous okrugs that are subjects of the Russian Federation in their own right. Taimyrsky and Nenetsky okrugs experienced similar problems. or most outstanding of okrugs. The autonomous oblasts succeeded and became subordinated directly to Moscow. The Khanty-Mansiisky Okrug legislature went further. thirty regions had agreed to renounce their treaties with the center under strong pressure from federal authorities.

which is made up of members of the Constitutional Assembly. One example is the 1999 elections in Karachaevo-Cherkessia. the oblast could have elected one oblast governor while its constituent okrug elected a different one. Itself a composite ethnic federation. The State Council elects a chair. the plan was to rotate the chair among State Council members every two years. who becomes the republic’s highest official. Specifically. Dagestan has become a testing ground for ethnic federalism. which activated the dormant conflict between the republic’s ethnic Karachai and Cherkess groups. the head of the State Council. however. Dagestan uses two-tier. the winner takes all elections have the potential to undermine stability in the multiethnic republics of the north Caucasus. Originally. The fears of worsening the ethnic conflict explain why three times in the past few years Dagestan has refused to introduce direct popular election of the head of the republic. The Center in the Regions and the Regions in the Center An understanding of the fragile and unstable nature of federalism in Russia requires looking at the institutions that permit interaction between the central . half of the Constitutional Assembly consists of parliamentary deputies and the other half of delegates from subregional units elected by local councils. the first elected chair has been in power since 1994. Moreover. Under this rule. where the situation is already tense. Dagestan also uses ethnic electoral districts to establish ethnic quotas for the distribution of seats in the republic’s legislative People’s Assembly as well as in local and town assemblies. a mechanism is in place that allows a particular ethnic group to veto a decision that affects its immediate interests and prevents other ethnic groups from overriding the veto. The Constitutional Assembly elects members to the fourteen-seat State Council. with each seat held by a representative of each of the republic’s fourteen main ethnic groups.Nikolai Petrov | 223 plus one vote with a minimum turnout rate of 25 percent within the okrug. With political culture underdeveloped and no mechanisms for representing minority interests. Russia’s federal system lacks such consociation mechanisms for harmonizing interethnic competition in relations between the center and the regions. similar to the system in the former Yugoslavia under Tito. indirect elections of its top leader.17 This method appears to have helped Dagestan avoid ethnic clashes similar to those that occurred in Karachaevo-Cherkessia during elections.

formed in 1990. The concept of the Federation Council.224 | Federalism and regional levels. The 1993 constitution established genuine bicameralism in Russia’s legislature. The constitution delegates vast powers to the Federation Council. despite the Federation Council’s strong opposition to the president’s decision to replace the prosecutor general and notwithstanding the constitution’s stipulation . however. in 1994–1995 and 1999–2000 Yeltsin used guards to prevent the acting prosecutors general from entering their offices.20 Deputy groups. the Constitutional Court ruled that Yeltsin had not violated the constitution. Figure 9. the existence of a federative chamber that represents the regions in federal lawmaking. six of the twenty-four deputies’ groups were regionally based. Under the 1993 Constitution. After the disintegration of the USSR. rather than political parties. of any legislature under the Soviet system. Yeltsin established consultative bodies under his chairmanship: the Council of Heads of Republics in 1992 and the Council of Heads of Administration in 1993. given the totalitarian nature.1 illustrates the evolution of these and other governmental bodies. which were the predecessors of the Federation Council. Three episodes from different periods in Russia’s post-Soviet development illustrate this point. At the first Congress. First. in 1994 Yeltsin began the war in Chechnya without consulting the Federal Assembly and despite senators’ opposition to the war. and therefore the purely decorative character. made up of heads of the constituent territories of the federation. which were formally equal in powers and had 126 deputies each. formed the basic organizational units of the Russian Congress. bicameralism was only formally consociational to the extent that Soviet federalism was only formally federalist.18 after the adoption of Stalin’s constitution in 1936. had been proposed several times under Gorbachev and Yeltsin. However. that is. the power of the upper house is much more limited than similar bodies in other federal states. Second. It existed in the USSR. Even though the Federation Council has the prerogative to confirm presidential decrees regarding martial law and states of emergency. is one of the most important features of any federal state.19 The RSFSR Supreme Soviet.21 In reality. was the first transitional Russian parliament and consisted of two chambers: the Council of Nationalities and the Council of the Republics. although not in the RSFSR. and some scholars even refer to it as one of the most powerful upper houses among federal states. and thus became a proper upper house of the Federal Assembly. Bicameralism. the Federation Council consisted of two deputies from each of the eighty-nine regions.

Nikolai Petrov | 225 Figure 9. 1989–2004 .1. Representations of Regions at the Federal Level.

the so-called oligarchs. as well as Russia’s business tycoons. all Yeltsin’s nominees first visited the Federation Council to gain senators’ support prior to the Duma vote. Putin has fractured both the composition and functions of the upper house. the Federation Council now consists of compromise figures who reflect the current balance of power between the Kremlin. This ex officio method of forming the Federation Council was in place from 1996 to 2000. To weaken regional leaders who are opposed to the center.226 | Federalism that the upper house be responsible for both appointing and removing the prosecutor general.23 Even though according to the constitution it is the Duma’s prerogative to confirm or reject the president’s candidate for prime minister. This was the third incarnation of the Federation Council’s structure. but the changing political situation is also an important influence on the council. members of the Federation Council were elected directly in 1993. After the resignations of several prime ministers in a row provoked power crises amid the background of a weakened president and an unpopular Duma. Third. This method of appointing senators allows the Kremlin. or directly representing the regional elites as in 1996–2000. With the loss of parliamentary immunity. one appointed by the governor or the president and the other by the regional legislature. the oligarchs. which consists of two representatives from each region. directly elected senators were replaced by the heads of the regions’ executive and legislature branches. regional executives and the heads of regional legislatures became more vulnerable to pressure from federal authorities. such as the tax authorities and the police. In 1995. under strong pressure from newly elected President Putin. the Federation Council has lost its role as arbiter in conflicts between the president and the Duma.22 Many current members of the upper house are Muscovites who had never been to “their” regions prior to being appointed. As discussed in greater detail in chapter 2. to be replaced by the current structure. The Federation Council reached its peak of influence in 1998–1999. and the regional leadership. The Federation Council’s composition determines its role in politics. to play an active role in forming the corps of regional representatives. With Putin’s rise to power and the growing power of the executive branch. the Federation Council adopted a new scheme for the membership of the upper house that resulted in the replacement of most senators. the Federation Council began to emerge as the most authoritative and legitimate governmental body in the country. In a . in May 2000. Thus instead of directly representing the people as in 1993–1995.

Whether Putin’s institutional . Presidium members often lead working groups that prepare programs on specific issues on the agendas of Presidium or State Council meetings. federal system. which consists of the same regional leaders who once sat on the Federation Council. the creation of seven federal districts. Putin’s Antifederal Reform The administrative changes Putin adopted. land reform. The State Council meets four times a year to discuss such key issues as economic strategy. is called the State Council and to some extent retains the informal role of its predecessor: a governors’ club providing a forum for contact between the regional and federal elites. His approach represents a rejection of federalism—which is still very much a work in progress—and an attempt at re-centralization. and work out program modifications in cooperation with the government. and to diversify the sources of information available to the president. Between meetings. could be viewed as an effort to reclaim federal powers that were illicitly grabbed by the regions and to flesh out the constitutional provisions needed to create a normal. but their role is strictly advisory. and hierarchy. Putin and his government have rarely used their reports. initiate discussions. inherited its formal functions. in particular. The other. A more accurate interpretation is that Putin is aggressively pursuing an antifederal policy designed to take away or circumscribe most powers exercised by regional leaders. the State Council Presidium holds monthly meetings with the president. functioning.Nikolai Petrov | 227 sense. order. The purpose appears to be the establishment of a unitary state under the guise of restoring “effective interaction between various levels of state power” and a unitary executive power or “vertical” to use Putin’s own word. and municipal reform. the Federation Council has two clones. articulate opposition to or support for government programs under consideration. however.24 In keeping with Putin’s background in the KGB. to train top executive officials at the federal and regional levels who participate in the presidium meetings. with the same name but a very different composition. One. The Presidium consists of seven regional leaders who represent each federal district and who the president replaces twice a year. the main emphasis is on discipline. Presidium members can. The main purposes of the State Council and its presidium seem to be to help fashion compromises between the federal and regional elites.

Further decentralization seemed inevitable. the center started to strengthen its position. 2000. This strengthening would not have succeeded if the center had not consolidated and demonstrated political will. Subsequent elections confirmed that transfer in March 2000.228 | Federalism and personnel choices will achieve the desired result is not clear. and a mass exodus of top officials and bureaucrats became a real threat. The onset of the second war in Chechnya was the main factor in the political developments that brought Putin to the presidency. RAO Unified Energy Systems. The process of decentralization was reversed.25 This effort was stimulated by further growth in international oil prices and increased budgetary revenues. May–September 1999 was the most difficult time for the Kremlin and the Russian government. the war’s side effects and its long-term negative implications for Russian federalism and the Russian state may prove to be very serious. These revenues also allowed greater use of financial carrots and sticks funneled through government-controlled oligarchic structures such as Gazprom. In the personnel sphere. the trend was to . asymmetrical. Chechnya was both evidence of and an aid to further consolidation of the center’s strengthening position. and the Ministry of Railways. However. The regional elite already perceived the authority of the center as having declined sharply. the center regained its initiative. With Putin in office. which allowed the government to pay its wage and pension arrears. The August 1998 financial meltdown and subsequent political crises in Moscow radically weakened the center’s position. By early 1999. the center moved to strengthen its relations with the regions in several areas. the process of decentralization had gone so far that a risk emerged that the system might shift from a weakly institutionalized. Contrary to conventional political logic and the lessons of previous Russian elections. and secured the active cooperation of the Federal Security Service (FSB). which were both perceived as being in their last months. despite its dangers. The war enabled the Kremlin to transfer presidential powers to its chosen heir. made a show of the use of military force in Dagestan and Chechnya. Beginning in the fall of 1999. who became acting president upon Yeltsin’s resignation on December 31. Neither is it evident that re-centralization will be an effective administrative strategy in post-Soviet Russia. in light of the imminent start of another major election cycle. federal system to a disintegrating confederal system. and the growing incompetence of the civil service added to such perceptions.

channeling funds through regional branches of the federal treasury. primarily presidential representatives and heads of power structures. In Ingushetia. such as Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. the new pro-Kremlin party of power. such as Dagestan.27 In the financial sector. These federal districts were created to increase the federal government’s presence and power in the regions. The next step occurred on May 13. five of whom were generals (one of whom has since been replaced with a civilian). the tax police (later abolished . the Kremlin acted with unprecedented speed and energy to strengthen the center at the expense of the regions. incorporating all state-owned regional television and radio companies. Soon after winning the elections. which unified the rules of the game regulating interactions between the center and the regions. to introduce illegal taxes. 2000. and to regulate imports and exports of some goods to and from their regions. Putin issued decrees abolishing regional decisions. in a number of the most subsidized regions. regional authorities tried to intervene in the work of law enforcement agencies. In 2000.and rayon-level branches on a pilot basis. Bryansk Oblast. the development of the All-Russia State Television and Radio Company continued.28 In the legal sphere.26 Other measures included efforts to weaken regional leaders’ control over federal civil servants in the regions.Nikolai Petrov | 229 strengthen the heads of federal institutions in the regions. two fundamental laws were adopted on the delineation of power among the various levels of government and on the fundamental organizing principles of state power in the regions. After the 2000 presidential elections. compromising materials were gathered during so-called anticorruption campaigns in the regions and used to force governors to leave such opposition blocs as Fatherland-All Russia on the eve of Duma elections and to join Unity. the center tightened control over the use of federal budgetary resources in the regions. when the president issued a decree that created seven federal districts or super-regions headed by presidential envoys. The practice of shaping regional legislation into conformity with federal legislation was expanded to the strongest and most obstinate regions. the new presidential plenipotentiaries have moved to take control of federal agencies located in the regions—such as the FSB. In the media sector. all payments were affected through the treasury’s city. which encroached on the powers of several regions. To put pressure on regional leaders. and other regions. In particular.

The Security Council—an organ of the Kremlin—designed the federal districts and drew their borders to match the districts used by Ministry of Internal Affairs troops. which the military won. The envoys are members of the Security Council. Presidential envoys are elements of a new vertical power structure. but it is far more populous than any other subject of the federation. Putin is the first of the country’s Soviet or post-Soviet leaders who was born and raised . the capital is weakening. Putin has introduced a more subtle federal reform: the rise of St. The first two—one in the late 1920s and early 1930s and the second in the late 1950s and early 1960s—failed. the new Tax Code changes interbudgetary relations by increasing the share of taxes going to the center and gives the federal government greater control over tax receipts and expenditures.230 | Federalism in March 2003). intermediate level of government between the federal and regional governments could lead either to more centralization if powers are transferred formally and informally from the regional level to the federal district level. It accounts for a little less than one-fifteenth of Russia’s population. Petersburg. Less formally. they are a conduit for bypassing both the Russian government and the governors. Moscow is a unique subject of the federation. It is not only far more populous than any other city in the country. though some elements of decentralization are evident in conflicts between presidential envoys and federal ministries. with both the Presidential administration and the Security Council at the top. Paradoxically. In addition. while the center is becoming stronger.29 A contest appears to have arisen within the Putin administration between civilian and military proposals. Putin’s goal is clearly centralization. Not surprisingly. his hometown of St. Putin has tried to undermine this hegemony by strengthening Russia’s other major city. or to decentralization if the federal government devolves some of its powers to the federal districts. and the regional branches of national television stations— that had drifted under the authority of regional heads of administration. Putin has pushed a new law through the parliament that allows the president to remove governors and dismiss regional parliaments (which would require State Duma approval). the city dominates Russia’s political and economic life. Petersburg and the commensurate weakening of Moscow. The establishment of federal districts is the third attempt in recent history to enlarge Russia’s regions. These seven regions do not match up neatly with Russia’s eleven economic regions or its eight inter-regional economic cooperation associations.30 The construction of a new. As such.

Petersburg to Moscow. presidential plenipotentiary. at least in part. thus the number of midlevel officials from St. FSB director. Sergei Ivanov. or at least some of its functions. Viktor Ivanov. presidential plenipotentiary. With the completion of these centralizing reforms in 2002. Serious discussions have taken place about moving the capital. Another factor is a desire to systematically dismantle the old Moscow-based bureaucratic machine. Moreover.Nikolai Petrov | 231 in St.5 billion in federal investment to celebrate the city’s 300th anniversary in 2003. For example. to St. Second. Petersburg. Georgy Poltavchenko. a significant flow of elites has taken place from St. and Viktor Zubkov. Petersburg elite: lawyers and former colleagues from Mayor Anatoly Sobchak’s administration. St. Petersburg group is Putin’s need to fill key posts with people he trusts and who have demonstrated their loyalty to him. Putin has access to at least three other sources for recruiting St. to be an outcome of Putin’s reliance on his former colleagues from the city’s FSB. Petersburg. Petersburg. Viktor Cherkesov. Russia’s imperial capital. defense minister. it allocated $1. Putin’s chief secretary and deputy head of the presidential administration. Reportedly. In addition. he has maintained good connections with his hometown. Petersburg is increasing in the national media. Coverage of St. Russia ceased to be an emerging federation and was transformed into a unitary state with . unlike his predecessors. This group’s imprint on the federal government is significant.32 and so-called unallied individuals. Petersburg’s growing clout can be considered.33 One explanation for the dominance of the St.31 liberal economists. on Monday mornings a traffic jam of limousines waits outside the railway station in Moscow to pick up officials returning from weekends with their families in St. and includes Nikolai Patrushev. As a result. rather than coming from a farflung province. While officials flow from St. officials from St. First. deputy head of the President’s Administration in charge of personnel. This has had two major consequences. Petersburg to Moscow. some capital city functions have shifted from Moscow to St. Putin himself visits the city often. Petersburg has also increased enormously. Petersburg tend to bring their own subordinates with them. the Kremlin is sending money in the opposite direction. and the Constantine Palace is being restored as an official presidential residence. and visiting foreign dignitaries are often taken to there as part of their official itineraries. Igor Sechin. chairman of the Financial Monitoring Committee of the Ministry of Finance. Putin did not spend a lengthy period of time in Moscow prior to becoming president. Petersburg. Following long-standing practice.

Unified Energy System. This configuration has since changed dramatically. as of the End of 1998 President Prime Minister President's Administration FSB.2. Ministry of Railroads Governor Regions Mayor some regional and ethno-regional elements. The most importance change is that the level of internal diversity in the center and the coordination among various federal structures in the regions (which has sometimes disintegrated into competition) have been improved .2 shows the overall political configuration of the center—and the regions at the end of 1998.232 | Federalism Figure 9. Figure 9. Interior Ministry and other Armed Structures Government Central Bank Courts State Duma. Political Parties Gazprom. Configuration of the Center regarding Regions.

administrative. Considerable changes have taken place at the pinnacle of the federal pyramid—the Presidential Administration. At the same time. judicial okrugs. It was only by 1999. In addition. The independence of the old oligarchs and of the infrastructure monopolies has also eroded. that the consolidation of the elites in the center and the changed social. while the roles of the more centralized judiciary and prosecutorial systems have grown. The role of these federal institutions. but a process that developed along lines mapped out in 1997 and 1998. The strengthening of the center at the end of 1999 and the beginning of 2000 was not a sudden or unplanned development. What distinguishes this trend from previous trends goes beyond the emergence of an intermediate tier represented by federal districts headed by presidential envoys. the government. and between the President’s Administration and the government have decreased considerably. The roles of the former have been expanded at the expense of the latter. infrastructure monopolies have started to work in tandem with the authorities.3 illustrates the changes in relations taking place between the center and the regions. This was accomplished by creating twenty-one inter-regional. has grown. At the base. This trend is shown as the breaking off of some federal structures from the regional pyramids. the recent monopolistic position of regional leaders. an effective . a corresponding collegium under the Supreme Court. and the Security Council. has started to weaken. Confrontation between the president and the prime minister. however. economic. have been diminished. In the regions. which feature better command and control than other government entities and are coordinated by the Security Council.Nikolai Petrov | 233 by a corresponding reduction in the size and ambiguity of the base of the center’s power pyramid in the regions. Consequently. regional leaders have been losing their monopoly on power.34 Figure 9. even in relation to federal institutions working at the regional level. a certain degree of centralization might be beneficial for the following reasons. and especially of the Federation Council. the center has become considerably more monolithic and better organized than the regions. and political situation enabled full-scale implementation of the earlier plans to strengthen the state. In the context of contemporary Russian politics. the roles of the Federal Assembly. the triumvirate of executive power under the president—and at its base. This is a result of the center’s clearer and stronger political will backed by more disciplined use of financial resources. and branches of the federal procuracy in the federal districts. First.

234 | Federalism Figure 9. Ministry of Railroads 7 Federal Districts Federal Agencies at District level Administraive Court—each serving seven regions State Council (advisory board reporting to President) Regions and governors civil society is impossible to build on the basis of small. subnational units whose political development is drifting in different directions.3. and many are . Interior Ministry and other Armed Structures Central Bank. Political Parties Courts FSB. as of the end of 2000 President President's Administration Security Council Government State Council Federation Council State Duma. Second. Unified Energy System. Banks Other Ministry of Finance Ministries Gazprom. in their present form. Russia’s regions are still too fragmented. Configuration of the Center regarding Regions.

The ongoing transition to a new state may become more gradual and more radical. a redistribution of power from the regional to local levels of government. having been turned into a facade as is the case today. Regions will almost inevitably become larger because of purely political reasons rather than because of any abstract self-sufficiency and management considerations. As the decentralization-centralization pendulum swings. or it may find itself on the periphery. the preservation and development of a unified political space will facilitate the separation of economic activities from politics: the segregation of political and economic power will turn governors from feudal lords into top corporate managers.Nikolai Petrov | 235 too small. depending on the nature of political developments. the optimal situation cannot be reached at once and is always shifting as political and economic conditions change. Hope that the political debris will be cleared out of the way first and that only then will a normal federation be created is even more naive. Rather. Prospects for the Future Relations between the center and the regions are still in flux. reflecting all the difficulties and vicissitudes of the Russian political landscape. Changes will affect both the country’s state-territorial administrative division and the system of ties between government institutions. federalism may become the quintessence of the political process. The main disadvantage is the stronger threat of separatism caused by an increase in the political and economic resources available . At various stages of the transition. Some of the regions do not have enough capacity to be subjects of the federation and perform the appropriate functions. that is. strong federal power promotes second-tier decentralization. Third. while other regions can only be federal territories. However. the process of federalization is developing simultaneously with other processes. both vertically between levels and horizontally across levels. Hardly anything will change until the development of civil society generates conditions for new transformations whose objective will be a more sophisticated system of power that combines a clear delineation of authority with the delegation of authority to lower levels of government. Enlargement has both advantages and disadvantages. for the purposes of federalization. Fourth. a critical problem is finding the optimal balance between short-term and long-term prospects and between unitary-centralist and federalist components.

the bigger and more centralized a system is. Similarly. To an extent. To someone who is a product of the Soviet system. this parallels Soviet era misunderstandings about the nature of democracy and a market economy. The absence of a planned or command system for allocating resources was equated with chaos and anarchy. On the other hand. the new policies do seem to be removing gubernatorial control over the military. Putin’s top aides and presidential representatives have only a hazy notion of what constitutes federalism. Putin’s plans are . Clearly.236 | Federalism to the few newly elected regional leaders. A highly centralized system runs the risk of collapsing in the face of changing conditions or circumstances. the greater the difficulty with which it accommodates changing conditions. police. On the one hand. it takes too long for any signal to reach the brain. that is. they insist that it is intended to counter separatist sentiments. Will re-centralization and the attempt to recreate a unitary system be effective in today’s Russia? The first years of experience with the system of federal districts provide contradictory evidence. but it entails a huge risk. Putin’s statements on restoring the vertical power hierarchy clearly indicate that his main point of reference is the USSR. Yet every time federal authorities come up with the idea of regional enlargement. The idea that certain important decisions could actually be made in the regions without a directive from the center is alien to this mindset. Yeltsin’s declared policy of creating autonomous local government institutions was an important affirmation of federalist principles. This trade-off may be worthwhile in the short run. and federal agencies that rightfully belong under federal jurisdiction. larger. The same desire for order will likely focus on the subregional level as well. and therefore more politically substantial regional governments. In general. Like a dinosaur. the absence of a clear chain of command in the political and administrative sphere is viewed as disorder or as a situation that is bound to spin out of control. multipolar economic and political system that would result from having fewer. the main advantage would be replacing the current system of hyper-centralism with a multicenter. Putin’s advisers do not seem to recognize that this could go too far or that excessive centralization was one of the weaknesses of the failed Soviet system. checks and balances are worth sacrificing to increase the manageability and effectiveness of the political system. and thus for feedback to produce a reaction. the cities and towns. Such an encumbered system simply functions too slowly to respond to the numerous and different reactions that can be needed for different parts of a huge structure.

until recently the situation could be described as one of weak state-weak society and weak regions-weaker center. the strengthening of the state and the center means the weakening or withering away of a number of elements of Russia’s pseudo-federalism. Putin’s policies threaten not only the development of a federal system. As for the regions. and may result in the direct subordination of mayors to governors. but also democratization. Why are relations between the center and the regions so vitally important to the future of democracy in Russia? Since Yeltsin’s victory over the parliament in 1993. Democratization. with the representative branch even weaker than it was under Yeltsin.35 At present. and popular elections are an unbreakable triad. virtually none of the latter are organized at the federal district level. . Power is not about the extent of authority. allowing for another center of power: regional chief executives. the political center of gravity should be in the regions. the effectiveness of both state and societal political institutions and independent mass media was undermined by the disproportionate power wielded by governors and republic presidents. his centralizing policies also put important policy decisions out of the reach of citizens and nongovernmental organizations. However. Despite all the rhetoric to the contrary. it could encourage participation and democratization. Now. As the state becomes stronger. In the 1990s. but about how much of that authority can be effectively implemented. If the center were to use its power to guarantee political freedoms and rights in the regions. despite its less than fully institutionalized form. neither the center nor the regions can exercise their authority effectively. the elements of democracy generated by a weak state rather than a strong society will inevitably be reduced or eliminated. Needless to say. The vertical division of powers between the center and the regions. regional leaders represent the last bastion of democracy. the horizontal division of power has shifted in favor of the executive branch. The creation of new levels of administrative authority in the form of presidential representatives and federal district offices of government agencies does nothing to facilitate Russia’s political development. Putin’s policies are designed to create a new level of decision making above the regions.Nikolai Petrov | 237 not likely to increase the effective powers exercised at the local level. compensated for the almost uncontrolled power of the executive in Moscow. Instead. The few regions that have shown some progress in democratization could easily see these gains disappear as the locus of power and policy moves upward. making policy less dependent on the governors. Ultimately. federalization.

This appears to be designed to allow United Russia to establish a foothold in regional legislatures and deprive governors of control over them. with elections being held in two rounds if turnout is below that. is highly centralized under the control of Putin loyalists. One proposal from pro-Kremlin factions supported by the Central Election Commission is to introduce the requirement of a minimal voter turnout of 50 percent in regional elections. the president may get additional rights to appoint regional chief executives if the Duma passes certain amendments to the Law on the Main Guarantees of Election Rights of the Citizens of the Russian Federation and the Right to Take Part in a Referendum. a national police system with a strong presence in the regions. At the same time. In addition. and Fatherland-All Russia. Rather than encourage pluralism and allow the bottom-up development of grassroots parties. If implemented fully.238 | Federalism Putin’s policy toward political parties and elections in the regions illustrates this point. Putin has pushed for the creation of a national super-party through the merger of two of the six parties represented in the Duma: Unity. As a result of the new 2001 law on political parties. the Kremlin is trying to change the rules on electing regional legislatures to require a mixed single-member and proportional representation (party list) system. United Russia. the result would be a vertically integrated but horizontally fractured state. . the presidential representatives have been mobilized to assist in party formation in their federal districts’ regions. a vertical political party. Officials in the presidential administration have announced plans to establish a new organizational mechanism for election commissions. then the president will have the right to appoint governors for a term of two years upon agreement with regional parliaments. regionally-based parties will not be allowed to register and compete in national elections. Finally. obviously to benefit United Russia.36 If elections are invalidated because of insufficient turnout in the second round. which would give the center greater control over the conduct of regional and local elections. This new entity. The proposal is akin to the restoration of a Soviet-style system using a single party to provide a parallel chain of vertical authority that reaches from the top state bodies to the lowest level of society. Thus Putin’s vision for Russia appears to be one of strong vertical chains of command: his own administrative chain based on federal districts and presidential representatives. and a vertical electoral commission.

and the activity of nongovernmental organizations. such as the separation of powers. diverges fundamentally from the situation of each of the eighty-seven other subjects of the federation. the freedom of the press. The reality is that the situation in Moscow and its adjacent regions (Moskovskaya Oblast). 239 .1 despite the popularity of such research and the analysis of comparative cross-national trends.10 Regional Models of Democratic Development Nikolai Petrov hose discussing the fate of democracy in Russia often focus on ostensiTtionships bly nationwide phenomena. primarily to enable researchers to develop a more complete picture of the country’s political development and the process of democratization. A comprehensive analysis of the post-Soviet political transition in the regions is badly needed. A full and accurate picture of the state of affairs in Russia with regard to democratization or any other aspect of the complex and troubled transformation from communist rule requires a close analysis of the situation at the regional level. Few comparative studies of Russia’s cross-regional political trends by either Russian or Western analysts are available. the relabetween various political institutions. given that Russia’s transition has now been under way for more than a decade and that many regions are larger than some Central European and Latin American countries in terms of both territory and population. This is somewhat surprising. Yet observers often erroneously deduce trends from developments solely at the federal level of government.

In addition. and also . establishing a scale of the dynamics of democratization. such as elections. Given the limited availability of data. The Dynamics of Regional Democratization Rankings of levels of democracy are useful not so much because they permit an assessment of the processes in the different regions. Chechnya has not been included in the analysis because of the ongoing war. any imperfections in the methodology have less of an effect if the method is applied repeatedly and the results aggregated. or political conflict. In any case. the period covered is less than ideal. and then explaining these dynamics. However. one of the main goals of Russia’s postSoviet development. In addition. because elections are the most important and revealing indicator of the state of a regional polity. important changes in local legislation. but because they permit comparisons of regions and tracking of their development.240 | Regional Models of Democratic Development The process of democratization. researchers run up against the universal problem of assessing different aspects of democracy together across space and time. if ratings are calculated only once every four or five years. political life in the regions does not change so much that ratings are needed for every region every year. In other words. the authors of the new ratings and rankings of Russia’s regions according to their respective levels of democracy have proposed a compromise solution. varies widely from region to region. In trying to assess levels of democracy. Ratings are preserved without change until new data necessitate a new assessment. The completion of an election cycle is an appropriate cutoff point. This chapter seeks to capture this variation systematically by examining the extent of democratization in the regions. Given these issues. A detailed evaluation once every four years with the completion of an election cycle seems to be the optimum timing. looking at variations in the rating or index of the level of democracy across space and time is far more important than simply preparing an index. but only when sufficient data are available for such a recalculation. The base rating is calculated from a large number of factors during the last few years. then the work takes a more historiographical approach and is deprived of any political significance. Partial indicators that are part of the overall rating are then recalculated on a yearly basis.

(8) the condition of macroeconomic policy. As the experience of Freedom House shows. Russia requires detailed monitoring in real time and a wealth of insider information that is often difficult to access. it only lags behind the Baltic states. and (12) the amount of economic liberalization. The way to correct this is by supplementing general analyses with specific ones tailored to conditions in Russia. (9) the condition of microeconomic policy.Nikolai Petrov | 241 because they flush out all of a local democracy’s dark corners and expose the secrets of local politics. The hypertrophy of executive power. (6) the extent of corruption. It usually assigns number grades for the state of democracy as reflected by both political and civil rights on a seven-point scale. Politics in the regions are typically neither public nor transparent. . For the last few years. (4) the system of administration. Freedom House has rated Russia as a partially free state and as one of the top ranked countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Such instruments endow most regions with the same results and smooth over variations between them. (10) the extent of democratization. the weak extent of institutionalization. and the underdevelopment of civil society together with the observation of formal democratic procedures is creating a pseudo democracy. What and How to Count For many years the independent political research institute and democracy watchdog Freedom House has produced its own evaluations and ratings of the state of democracy across the world. This separate rating system is referred to as the nations in transit ranking. Comparative analyses make frequent use of this rating system. (3) the extent of media freedom. (5) the legislative and judicial systems. (7) the degree of privatization. Among all the former Soviet republics. Given its transitional nature. but have applied it to Russia without substantial adaptations. the usual instruments of analysis cannot be applied in such a situation. (2) the development of civil society. The individual rankings measure (1) the nature of the political process.2 It uses twelve individual ratings calculated to two decimal places to come up with the final rating. Freedom House applied a much more detailed grading to post-Soviet and post-communist countries in transition. with a ranking of 1 indicating maximum freedom and of 7 indicating minimum freedom. (11) the rule of law.

the advantage is a more complete evaluation of the entire spectrum of interconnected factors that define the level of democracy. and at best secondary. In the first case. First. The data compiled by the Carnegie Moscow Center’s project on sociopolitical monitoring of the regions from 1995 to 2002 offers an opportunity to trace the level of democratization in Russia’s regions by region and . it is justified for two reasons. particularly in the context of the stormy political life of post-Soviet Russia. qualified experts have personally visited a few regions recently and are well informed about the situation in a number of other regions. It is not momentary or narrow and cannot be directly observed and assigned a numeric code. This alternative approach lies in detailing the scores for levels of democracy and breaking them down into individual components. Petersburg). and requires going through a voluminous amount of raw data from each of the regions. sources. but their opinion about most regions will be based on indirect. At the same time. We took this path in 1997 and 1999 to assess the extent of democracy in fifty-seven oblasts and two federal cities (Moscow and St. The expert evaluation will be considered first. Two erroneous notions emerge from this approach: analysis is often reduced to the ideas that a region is democratic if it votes for so-called democrats and if power is in the hands of a democratic regional governor or republican president. At best. while the second method provides an opportunity for interim recalibration. Indeed. it is not easily measured and can only be assessed on the basis of a series of observations. Such an approach is labor intensive. Second.242 | Regional Models of Democratic Development Expert Evaluations of Democracy in the Regions Thus the goals and the task posed are clear: obtaining a base rating plus annual adjustments. it highlights the dynamics of the transition. The level of democracy is an integral expression of the overall political climate. However. Subjectivity is inevitable. because the grade is assessed not once but each year. The second approach can help avoid systematic mistakes conditioned by the mass media and public awareness. One way to reduce the level of subjectivity is to bring in a number of experts to do the calculation. it ensures relative uniformity of the evaluation method in each region.3 What complicates this approach is that experts do not have an equally well-informed understanding of all the relevant regions. a caveat exists with regard to the base rating in that it can be calculated in two ways: Freedom House’s method of assessments by experts and an “instrumental” mark.

(5) the extent of economic liberalization.1). (9) the degree of corruption (the merging of political and economic elites and corruption scandals).5 Despite the large variation between the highest and the lowest ratings of democracy—from 45 for St. the use of so-called administrative resources. and turnover of political elites (changes of leaders implemented by means of elections that do not lead to a dismantling of the whole system. and local elections held in the regions (the existence of free and fair elections for posts at all levels. (7) the region’s political regime (the balance of power. Following the five leading democratic regions is a group of five moderately democratic regions all rated at 37. The higher the number. regional. referenda. pickets. the Republic of Karelia (41). and coalitions during elections and afterward). and the extent of citizens’ rights). Sverdlovsk Oblast (43). the more democracy. (2) the level of democracy in federal. and the limitations to realizing political rights). the independence of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies.4 The overall rating of the democracy level is calculated on the basis of scores for ten separate political spheres: (1) the openness of political life (the extent of transparency and of public involvement in political life). the number of elected versus appointed officials. (3) the extent of political pluralism (the existence of stable parties. Ten regions score less than 20. Petersburg (45). factions in the legislative assembly. Petersburg to 14 for Kalmykia—the contrasts are not as great as might be expected. their competitiveness. and (10) the amount of local self-administration (the existence of elected bodies of local government and their level of activity and influence). (4) the degree of media freedom and independence. with the highest score possible being 50 and the lowest possible score being 10 (table 10. and vitality of mechanisms for compromises between competing interests). various forms of public activity. including privatization (through regional legislation and in practice). (6) the development of civil society (nongovernmental organizations. These authoritarian regions—all national autonomies—include . Perm Oblast (41). The overall rating is tallied by adding up the individual ratings. perpetuation. Five regions stand out for their high level of urbanization and democracy: St.Nikolai Petrov | 243 over time along the lines of the Freedom House surveys of democracy of other countries around the world. demonstrations. including direct interference by the authorities or the courts. and Nizhny Novgorod Oblast (40). (8) the quality. Each region is assessed on a five-point scale in each of the ten spheres. and strikes not sanctioned by the authorities). varied nature of the elites.

Ratings of Democracy in Russian Regions Based on Expert Evaluation.1. Petersburg Sverdlovskaya Karelia Permskaya Nizhegorodskaya Arkhangelskaya Irkutskaya Novosibirskaya Samarskaya Yaroslavskaya Volgogradskaya Kaliningradskaya Chelyabinskaya Udmurtia Krasnoyarsky Sakhalinskaya Vologodskaya Leningradskaya Khanty-Mansiisky Chuvashia Kostromskaya Buryatia Moskovskaya Rating Region 5 5 4 4 5 4 4 4 5 4 4 4 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 5 5 5 4 3 5 4 4 3 4 3 4 4 4 4 3 3 4 3 3 4 3 3 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 5 5 5 4 5 3 4 3 3 4 3 3 3 4 4 3 3 2 3 2 3 3 2 4 4 4 5 4 4 3 3 4 4 3 4 3 3 3 4 3 4 4 3 3 3 3 Free and Independent fair Political massEconomic Openness elections pluralism media liberalization 5 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 4 3 4 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 Civil Political Society regime 5 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 3 3 2 3 3 4 3 2 3 3 3 3 Elites Table 10. 1991–2001 3 2 3 4 3 3 3 3 2 4 3 1 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 5 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 5 45 43 41 41 40 37 37 37 37 37 34 34 34 33 33 33 32 32 32 31 31 30 30 Local selfCorruption government Total .1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 St.

Ratings of Democracy in Russian Regions Based on Expert Evaluation. 1991–2001 (continued) .1.24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 Murmanskaya Novgorodskaya Tyumenskaya Moscow Khakassia Vladimirskaya Ivanovskaya Kaluzhskaya Kamchatskaya Kirovskaya Omskaya Tomskaya Altai Marii El Astrakhanskaya Belgorodskaya Bryanskaya Kemerovskaya Tverskaya Yamalo-Nenetsky Komi Lipetskaya Pskovskaya Rating Region 3 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 2 3 4 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 2 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 5 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 2 3 Free and Independent fair Political massEconomic Openness elections pluralism media liberalization 3 2 3 4 2 2 2 3 3 2 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 4 2 2 3 2 2 3 2 3 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 2 Civil Political Society regime 3 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 2 2 3 3 Elites 3 5 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 3 2 3 2 3 4 3 2 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 30 30 30 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 27 27 27 Local selfCorruption government Total Table 10.

1. Ratings of Democracy in Russian Regions Based on Expert Evaluation. 1991–2001 (continued) .65 66 67 68 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 Ryazanskaya Smolenskaya Krasnodarsky Amurskaya Magadanskaya Orenburgskaya Saratovskaya Tambovskaya Tulskaya Komi-Permyatsky Altaysky Stavropolsky Khabarovsky Voronezhskaya Penzenskaya Chitinskaya Daghestan KarachaevoCherkessia Kurganskaya Rostovskaya Koryaksky Taymyrsky Rating Region 2 3 2 2 3 3 2 2 2 3 3 2 3 3 2 2 2 3 2 2 3 3 3 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 3 3 2 3 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Free and Independent fair Political massEconomic Openness elections pluralism media liberalization 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 Civil Political Society regime 2 2 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 2 2 3 3 3 1 3 Elites 3 2 3 2 3 2 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 3 2 3 3 1 2 3 3 2 2 3 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 3 24 24 24 24 27 27 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 25 25 25 25 25 25 24 24 Local selfCorruption government Total Table 10.

Tatarstan Primorsky Jewish Autonomous Nenetsky Adygeya Ulyanovskaya Mordovia Yakutia Kurskaya Orlovskaya Northern Ossetia Tuva Ust-Ordynsky Evenkiisky Bashkortostan Aginsky Buryatsky Kabardino-Balkaria Chukotsky Ingushetia Kalmykia 2 4 2 2 3 3 2 2 3 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 Source: Calculations by Nikolai Petrov and Alexei Titkov. 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 Rating Region 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 2 2 2 1 2 3 2 3 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Free and Independent fair Political massEconomic Openness elections pluralism media liberalization 3 3 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 2 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 Civil Political Society regime 1 2 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 2 3 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 Elites 4 1 3 3 2 3 2 2 2 3 1 2 2 3 4 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 3 4 2 3 2 2 2 3 1 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 23 23 23 23 22 22 21 21 21 21 19 19 19 19 18 18 17 17 15 14 Local selfCorruption government Total Table 10. Ratings of Democracy in Russian Regions Based on Expert Evaluation. 1991–2001 (continued) .1.

such as the dominant political culture. Primorsky Krai (in 1993). Plotting regions according to their level of democracy follows a normal distribution with most regions falling in the middle range and smaller numbers of regions at the top (the ten regions that comprise the two groups of leaders) and the bottom (the ten authoritarian outsiders). such as the history of the region’s society. Both models of development can coexist. Buryatia. or that all development stems from the initial push. Despite initial expectations. led by St. and Chuvashia (in 1993). Buryatia. The city of Moscow is closer to the democratic group of regions than Kemerovo. Kemerov Oblast (in 1997). the Republic of Ingushetia (15). The initial push theory sees political development as a consequence of the establishment and reproduction phases. and Saratovskaya Oblast (in 1996). and Evenkia (all rated at 19). when the sociopolitical system passes through a point of bifurcation and the trajectory of further development is defined. All these regions fall in the middle of the ranking ladder in table 10. It is during this phase that different regions choose different trajectories. The dominant political culture is in turn a composite of many factors. we add the temporal dimension to the regional rating system to register shifts in the relative values of selected indicators during 1991–2001. its composition. The remaining regions fall between these two extremes.” To complete the analysis. Three regions moved toward greater democracy: the republics of Altai (in 1997). The most important innovations appear during the establishment phase.1. Such remarkable stability indicates either that essential features give rise to the specific level of democracy in each region. Aga-Buryatsky Okrug (18). Karachaevo-Cherkessia (in 1999). Chukotsky Okrug (17). and indeed. the Republic of Bashkortostan (18). grades for the level of democracy in individual regions during this period fall within a narrow range and significant movement was found in only a few cases. includes all . The city of Moscow falls roughly in the middle with a rating of 29. and the Republic of Kalmykia (14). consists of large urban regions. and many regions of the pro-communist “red belt. Four regions moved toward more authoritarian rule: Mordovia (in 1993). the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria (17). Almost half of the regions score between 25 and 30. and so on. The position of democratic leaders and authoritarian outsiders was stable. its structure. Petersburg. contributing to regional political development in parallel. Saratov. which they can modify only slightly during the following reproduction phase.248 | Regional Models of Democratic Development the republics of North Ossetia and Tuva and the national okrugs of UstOrda. The top group.

Aside from the urbanized nature of the top-ranked democracies and the authoritarian nature of the republics. behind only 19 regions). A look at all the regions that scored less than 23 still incorporates only a few of the so-called Russian regions (krais and oblasts): Orlovskaya (21). and the overall state of the rule of law. Kurskaya (21). Moscow.Nikolai Petrov | 249 cities with more than a million residents except Moscow. The Muslim republic.6 From the variety of possible electoral indicators. many of them rural. including the level of public political awareness. the Republic of Karelia sits among the leaders and Russia’s most urban city. Our initial hypothesis was based on the assumption that the transition from the . The Republic of Karelia. no other obvious pattern is visible. The next highest rated republics are Udmurtia (with a rating of 33 that lags behind only 13 of Russia’s regions) and Chuvashia (with a rating of 31. A special advantage of elections from the point of view of monitoring democratic development is that they are usually conducted simultaneously across the country. thereby allowing a regional comparison. tied in third place with Permskaya Oblast. ranking behind 68 regions. is ranked behind 26 regions. the separation of executive and legislative power. The outsider group consists entirely of national republics and okrugs. Regional Elections as a Barometer of Democratization As an institution representative of direct democracy. is the only national republic among the top ten democratic leaders. namely: the level of voter participation (turnout) in federal and regional elections. Even the two factors cited are subject to exceptions: as noted earlier. the competitiveness and intensity of the races. Elections highlight a great variety of key features that need to be examined to assess the level of democracy in any particular polity. the role of the elite and of political parties. and the violations of electoral law. and Ulyanovskaya (22) oblasts. elections offer researchers an unique opportunity to assess the state of democracy not only at the national level. the level of civil society’s vitality and social activism. Tatarstan. falls outside the group of authoritarian outsiders but well below the average Russian region with a rating of 23. but also at the regional level. the degree of improper administrative control exercised by incumbents. the instances of voting against all candidates and parties (negativism). the authors selected a few to use in appraising democracy levels in the regions.

interconnections between federal and some local elections. or seasonal variations—a statistical mean was taken for the turnout in the two most recent federal elections: the December 1999 State Duma election and the March 2000 Russian presidential election. The first would include a small group of regions. To avoid the confusing influence of subjective and accidental factors— specific political situation. in which no correlation is apparent between a higher turnout and a higher level of democratization. A second group would comprise most of the remaining regions. the Russian regions. that have made few gains in democratization. with higher turnout reflecting higher levels of political activism among citizens.250 | Regional Models of Democratic Development Soviet administrative command model of elections to the normal democratic model was almost complete in the regions. differences between parliamentary and presidential campaigns. The correlation between turnout ratings and the model’s expectations is high: 0. one that is much closer to the old post-Soviet model initially observed in the first relatively free elections of 1989. primarily national republics. higher turnout can be attributed to a higher level of administrative mobilization of participation in elections and a relatively lower level of freedom and institutionalized democracy.7 In this second group of regions. Regional variation in turnout is high as well. the lower the turnout. as less reformed regions and republics continued to mobilize turnout through the still intact party-state apparatus that extended into state farms and enterprises. like . An overview of our assessment of the state of Russian regional democracy along these six parameters follows. Indeed. two patterns of turnout variation should have emerged from the study of electoral process in the different regions. There the old model of nearly total population turnout driven by the administrative mobilization of voters from state farms and enterprises should still prevail. In some regions. the greater the degree of reform and democratization before the 1989 USSR Congress of People’s Deputies elections.8 Thus according to this model. The actual data point to a fundamentally different pattern of variation.75. and thus relatively normal even by Western standards. Voter Participation in the 1999 Parliamentary and 2000 Presidential Federal Elections In accordance with our heuristic assumption. the turnout distribution should be electorally motivated. where democratization should have progressed considerably further than in the national republics and okrugs.

the turnout for presidential elections exceeded 80 percent. and Tomskaya oblasts) 2 additional points. Leningradskaya. or. regional leaders inflate turnout using administrative resources and mobilization to demonstrate . In other cases. This is especially true for regions that have a high degree of administrative control. A Comparison of Turnout for National and Regional Elections National and local elections often follow different patterns. For various reasons—mainly Russia’s superpresidentialism and the significant tilt in the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches in favor of the former—presidential elections spark much more public interest than parliamentary elections. Kabardino-Balkaria. and Dagestan.5 percent fewer voters than the Duma elections. which results in a low turnout.8 percent in the regions. Because of obvious distortions in several cases. In St. Kabardino-Balkaria. with fairly even distribution in between. The turnout for the 2000 presidential elections exceeded the turnout for the December 1999 Duma elections by an average of 6. Irkutskaya. For instance. where the presidential elections attracted 2. In such regions turnout can vary greatly either because of a lack of interest in federal affairs.Nikolai Petrov | 251 Ingushetia. apparent deviations from the general trend can be explained by the distorting effect that interest in the political future of one of the city’s own probably had on turnout. diverse turnout reflects the active use of administrative resources. We gave thirty-one regions 1 additional point and nine regions (Ingushetia. but the reverse was true in the Altai Republic.3 percentage points. In others. we gave additional penalty points to regions with the largest deviations: 2 points for deviations above 10 percent and 1 point for deviations between 6. the difference in public interest in presidential rather than State Duma elections seems to be getting wider. in Ingushetia turnout for the 2000 presidential elections was almost 25 percentage points higher than that for the 1999 Duma elections. Chuvashia. The average difference between the July 1996 presidential elections and the December 1995 Duma elections had been lower by 5. Petersburg. Sverdlovskaya.8 and 10 percent. A comparison of individual regions shows that relative public interest in elections varied greatly. Kaliningradskaya. it was less than 60 percent. Furthermore. conversely. North Ossetia. Therefore the resulting rankings of turnout at the federal elections varied from a high of 10 in Evenki Autonomous Okrug to a low of 1 in seventeen regions. such as the Evenki Autonomous Okrug.

turnout for regional elections is. and the voters’ perceptions of candidates’ abilities to carry out the programs appropriately. differences exist . As such. voting against all candidates and parties is a traditional form of electoral protest. and so we used them for rating analysis in preference to other elections. We considered a lower value or difference in a regional election as a sign of the old model of administrative interference and mobilization of local political activity. and one for regional heads. For Russia as a whole. and that they are willing to turn out at the polls to register that displeasure. on average. Voters show that they are not afraid to register their displeasure with the candidates or the system publicly. the candidates’ and parties’ programs.9 This average difference served as a base value for assessing electoral democracy in regional versus federal elections: deviations in either direction were taken as indications of lowered democracy levels. On the other hand. thereby displaying their interest and concern in their country’s democracy. we sometimes used elections to regional legislative assemblies with an appropriate corrective coefficient. it may be considered a sign of health in a democracy.10 Despite these and other statistical techniques. Negative Voting Like voter absenteeism.11 Variation from region to region in the extent of negative voting has been high for all four elections we selected and ranked: two for the 1999 State Duma (one for the party list vote and one for single-mandate district voting). 12 percent lower than for federal elections. the electorate exhibits different reactions to similar situations: the situation countrywide. one for the Russian president. and lack of interest is either a cause or a consequence of less democracy in the region. These four elections deal with two fundamentally different phenomena. we could only measure or evaluate electoral turnout in gubernatorial elections in seventy-five regions because federal or local electoral data were missing for the remaining thirteen regions (and Chechnya). In cases of simultaneous gubernatorial and federal elections. Gubernatorial elections are the more telling among regional elections. in presidential and Duma party list voting. We viewed a higher difference in turnout as indicating a lack of interest in local elections. in gubernatorial and Duma single-mandate district voting. On the one hand.252 | Regional Models of Democratic Development their usefulness and support of the center.

candidate doubles. Electoral Competition and Political Pluralism The level of electoral competition is an important indicator of the level of democracy. and their election staffs. In these. Presidential and Duma party elections with the same candidates and parties competing nationally. the difference in the frequency of recourse to negativism by voters is more than tenfold in case of national elections (both the presidential and Duma party list votes) and in single-mandate districts. At a maximum. The latter result in particular reflects the broad range of democracy levels across the regions. Conversely. hence reflecting public activism on the part of the electorate. and the like). since it reflects the overall level of political pluralism. and the prevalence of dirty election campaign techniques (the use of false editions of newspapers. and not regionally. In the latter two types of elections. parties. At a minimum it reflects the number of competitive elite groupings that can viably fight for power in the election process. it may reflect the strength of truly grassroots political parties and the autonomy and power of . as well as the widely divergent levels in the violations of electoral laws and norms. negative voting is considered proportionately. The correlation between all the indicators of negativism is statistically insignificant. are an exception to this rule. We adopted this method under the assumption that an unusually low share of votes against all candidates suggests the presence of excessive administrative control over the electoral process. suggesting that different phenomena lie behind each indicator and that they should not be interpreted reductively to indicate some general level of protest.Nikolai Petrov | 253 with regard to the specific regional situation and therefore in the electorate’s reaction to it. the average regional negative voting level is taken as a norm. Deviation in either direction in a given region is taken to indicate a lower level of democracy. Taking into account the various methodological challenges and solutions and keeping in mind that the levels of democracy in a region can vary greatly in regional and federal elections. the use of administrative resources. a larger percentage of negative voting is taken to indicate voters’ negative reaction to various violations of election laws and norms regarding fair play by candidates. we found that at the extremes. and more than seventy-fold in gubernatorial elections.

Some might consider a large number of effective parties as a counterintuitive indicator of an immature democratic system that has still not combined its political forces into cohesive mediating organizations (whether for institutional or strategic reasons) and that remains a highly fractured. Khabarovsky Krai. for individual regions this figure varied from a low of 1. The average “effective” number of parties in each region was 6. Khanty-Mansiysky.2 to 1. vibrant democracy.12 the effective number of candidates in gubernatorial elections. and Orlovskaya oblasts and Aga-Buryatsky. the victors’ winning margin. tying with several others. We used three indicators to measure the degree of political pluralism. Mordovia. Novgorodskaya. in the overall level of democratization. Chukotksky. Perm’s high rankings not only of electoral. the average margin of victory was 40. and even polarized.254 | Regional Models of Democratic Development civil society. however. and its first place ranking among all the regions in the overall level of democratization (which includes all electoral and nonelectoral parameters). that is.2 percentage points. having fewer than two effective candidates clearly reflects a limited degree of political pluralism that does not meet a liberal democratic standard.14 The average effective number of gubernatorial election candidates was 3. Indeed. and intensity of competition: the effective number of parties in the 1999 Duma elections. Again. Nenetsky Autonomous Okrug rated dismally on most parameters and finished ahead of only sixteen regions. Murmanskaya. Variation in the Russian regions is enormous and ranges from differences of . In the seventy-two regions where gubernatorial elections took place in 1999–2002. Kemerovskaya.7 in Nenetsky Autonomous Okrug.3 parties in Ingushetia and 2 in Tuva to highs of 9. polity. This compares unfavorably with general patterns observed in liberal democratic systems. but of other institutional aspects of democracy.3 in Perm Oblast and 9. which suggests a reasonably good level of candidate choice for voters overall.13 and election victors’ winning margins. At the same time. where competition tends to drive winners’ margins down to much lower figures.8 in 1999. Clearly having two or more effective political parties meets the standard of the most advanced liberal democracies. suggest that a large number of parties can also be a sign of a healthy. electoral competition. and Yamal-Nenetsky autonomous okrugs to a high of 7.1 in Primorsky Krai and Novosibirsk Oblast. Variation across the regions ranged from the low and undemocratic number of 1. Kalmykia. The third parameter for assessing electoral competition turns on elections’ actual results.3 in Kabardino-Balkaria.

since many political leaders from the ancien regime have remained in power in numerous regions.15 Removal of Incumbents While election victors’ winning margins are important for assessing the democratic nature of election results. These are often former Communist Party first secretaries and other regional. if a challenger representing genuine opposition wins the race in a particular region. officials from the late Soviet era. such as retirement. but a completed replacement in other elections (7–8 points). the regions broke down into the following five groups as regards leadership turnover: (1) those without any instances of a regional chief executive being replaced by means of elections (9–10 points). particularly in the presidencies of the national republics. (3) those where the replacement occurred by nonelectoral succession. For example. (2) those without any replacement of the regional chief executive in the last elections. (4) those where the replacement by election of a regional head by a representative of the regional or federal establishment occurred (3–4 points). because one standard that has often been used to define a consolidated democracy that has gone beyond the mere process of elections is the turnover of power from one group of officials to another. resignation. but power changing hands from one group to another through elections can be considered a minimal criterion for democratic consolidation. an even more significant statistic is the rate of removal or turnover of incumbents through the election process. they cannot be regarded as a sign of a democracy’s consolidation. preferably an opposition group. and a zero or even negative value in cases where the second round winner finished second in the first round.17 On a scale of 1–10. if not liberal. or even federal-level. Although elections are considered a minimalist sign of democratization or transition to democracy.Nikolai Petrov | 255 90 percentage points in some regions such as Kemerovskaya and Orlovskaya oblasts. A little variation within each grade made precise adjustments possible that took into account all region-specific circumstances. It is particularly relevant to the debate about a particular democracy’s level of consolidation. which is a good indicator of the vibrancy of electoral. or appointment to another post (5–6 points). and (5) those where the replacement by election of a regional head by a politician not representing the establishment occurred (1–2 points). democracy.16 This is especially important in Russia. then the region .

evaluations for these separate levels in some cases diverge quite sharply in either direction. but one not yet in existence. A method that is more realistic at this time is the indirect evaluation of violations through observation of various deviations from electoral behavior both across time and in space: between different elections. Another possibility is the use of expert evaluations based on information about various scandals connected with federal and local authorities’ interference in elections. and so open to different interpretations as to their illegality. we used the Mercator Group’s three-grade rating of freedom of elections to calculate major parameters of electoral behavior by region and lower-level territorial electoral commissions. substantiated by all three separate evaluations. The sources of evaluation were intentionally varied as well.19 In addition. universal indicator for evaluating all possible violations of the law during elections does not exist. We compared the results generated by the Mercator studies against a base of electoral violation data created earlier by the regional program of the Carnegie Moscow Center. One curious observation to have come out of the study.18 Specifically. and between subregions. such an indicator could never feasibly exist for the simple reason that such violations are so numerous. the region gets a 2. For the maximal accuracy. objectivity. so hard to track. between different regions. A few good examples of the latter are the regions . we conducted a separate expert evaluation of violations based on regional monitoring in the 1999–2002 gubernatorial elections. Rule of Law in Elections A single. a system offered by one of the first versions of the Law on Public Control. In our study of federal elections. One possible approximate universal indicator may be data from strictly enforced examinations of sample ballots in each region. Indeed. and usefulness we used both approaches along with our own third evaluative approach. but if the incumbent governor is replaced by a representative of the ruling elite who is either the regional center mayor or a former governor. is that while correlation between the statistics on electoral violations in federal and regional elections is generally relatively good.256 | Regional Models of Democratic Development receives a 1. we converted the Mercator rating to a 10-point scale to obtain aggregated indexes for the stability of electoral preferences and the level of voting in favor of the government or party in power.

however. (7) votes against all in elections of regional chief executives. ranking near the more authoritarian republics such as Tatarstan. (10) violations of the law in regional elections.3 in KabardinoBalkaria in a fashion that resembles a normal distribution skewed slightly toward the democratic end. Many other regions with well-known leaders are found in the bottom half of the table. These include Yegor Stroyev’s Orel Oblast. (2) turnout for regional chief executives’ (gubernatorial and national republic presidential) elections. the majority of regions are concentrated near the mean: 40 are located within an interval of 3. Bashkortostan and Kalmykia. which in recent years gained the reputation of being a region of exemplar reforms. (5) competition in the elections of regional chief executives as assessed by victors’ winning margins.4 in Permskaya Oblast to 8. Krasnodar Krai. Novgorodskaya Oblast. and Tyumen Oblast and Kurskaya Oblast. A departure from this general pattern was seen in Astrakhan Oblast. Petersburg. Karachai-Cherkessia. (8) votes against all in Duma party list votes and federal presidential elections. is located in the bottom dozen. and (11) violations of the law in federal elections in the regions. (9) votes against all in Duma elections in single-mandate district voting. (4) competition in gubernatorial elections assessed by effective number of candidates. the composite democracy rating for each region is an arithmetic mean of the ratings in all eleven subcategories of regional elections’ level of democracy: (1) turnout for the Duma and presidential elections.Nikolai Petrov | 257 of St. together with a number of northern Caucasian republics. the republics of Altai and Dagestan.2. The ratings varied from 2. (6) competition in the elections of regional chief executives assessed in terms of their rate of replacement by election or another method of replacement. where the most notable violations are in the Duma and presidential federal elections. The Composite Picture As shown in table 10. The most notable lack of coherence in the distribution separates the ten least democratic regions from the rest. Yakutia. violations are more prevalent in regional elections. Although overall variation is more than threefold.5 to 4. (3) competition in Duma party list votes assessed by effective number of parties. where violations have been significant in local elections and much less pronounced in federal elections. In general. and the Ust-Ordinsky-Buryatsky Autonomous Okrug.5 points. Dmitri Ayatskov’s Saratov .

5 2.5 3.4 3.0 3. Petersburg Rating Region Competiveness Negativism Violations 2.6 3.5 3. Index of Democracy in Russian Regions Based on 1999–2002 Elections .3 3.4 2.Gubernaand elections regional Regional Federal evaluation elections torial lists SMDs torial torial presidential (by SMDs) head elections elections Turnout Table 10.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Permskaya Moskovskaya Nizhegorodskaya Novosibirskaya Kamchatskaya Tambovskaya Ivanovskaya Leningradsky Kaliningradsky Ryazanskaya Sakhalinskaya Komi Tumenskaya Amurskaya Orenburgskaya Primorsky Arkhangelskaya Pskovskaya Sverdlovskaya St.4 3.6 3 2 2 3 2 3 4 1 2 4 1 3 3 4 4 2 4 5 1 2 1 2 5 1 1 3 4 1 4 2 2 1 4 2 2 4 1 3 2 1 4 3 4 4 5 4 4 5 5 4 4 4 6 5 4 3 6 2 2 2 2 4 3 1 2 3 2 3 2 2 2 4 1 4 3 1 2 3 2 5 1 2 1 1 2 5 2 4 3 6 6 6 3 3 1 5 2 4 8 3 1 2 2 6 4 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 4 1 2 6 1 2 3 3 1 3 4 1 5 3 4 5 4 2 5 5 5 7 4 3 6 4 2 1 5 1 3 4 1 2 1 4 1 3 2 2 3 3 5 2 2 7 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 7 4 7 9 4 4 1 3 2 7 7 7 8 3 4 1 2 4 2 4 3 5 3 4 4 6 4 2 8 2 4 3 6 2 3 2 1 2 2 2 5 2 2 2 4 1 3 4 6 2 3 3 2 Duma Duma Duma Replacement Duma and elections elections (by party lists) Duma of Integral presidential Guberna.1 3.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 3.3 3.by party by Guberna.5 3.5 3.3 3.2.5 3.

8 8. 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 69 Rating Region Competiveness Negativism Violations 5 6 7 7 6 7 6 5 6 7 7 6 10 7 7 6 10 8 7 4 4 6 2 2 7 9 10 4 5 10 5 2 7 10 6 6 7 6 10 5 10 9 8 6 6 10 10 8 9 10 9 10 6 10 10 8 2 10 3 3 1 5 4 1 3 3 10 6 4 3 5 4 2 3 10 6 6 5 5 5 6 7 8 8 4 6 4 6 5 6 6 8 9 8 7 10 10 9 4 6 6 8 6 9 2 5 1 2 5 2 5 9 10 3 4 10 5 7 8 10 8 4 8 7 4 10 10 10 10 10 8 10 8 10 10 4 10 10 4 6 4 7 7 4 6 6 8 6 4 7 10 7 4 8 10 8 6 9 9 3 4 5 8 7 6 3 5 5 5 8 8 6 6 8 9 10 10 9 3 Duma Duma Duma Replacement Duma and elections elections (by party lists) Duma of Integral presidential Guberna.5 5.Gubernaand elections regional Regional Federal evaluation elections torial lists SMDs torial torial presidential (by SMDs) head elections elections Turnout Table 10.7 5.9 7.2.5 6.8 6.4 5.by party by Guberna.5 5.8 6.5 5.3 7.6 5. Index of Democracy in Russian Regions Based on 1999–2002 Elections (continued) .KarachaevoCherkessia Novgorodskaya Altaysky Adygeya Northern Ossetia Ust-Ordynsky Chukotsky Kemerovskaya Saratovskaya Rostovskaya Orlovskaya Tatarstan Kalmykia Tuva Aginsky Buryatsky Mordovia Bashkortostan Ingushetia Daghestan Kabardino-Balkaria 5.6 6.5 6.3 5 5 3 3 5 6 2 6 5 7 8 4 5 6 8 8 9 9 10 4 2 5 2 1 4 1 2 4 4 7 9 1 3 5 2 4 5 9 Source: Calculations by Nikolai Petrov and Alexei Titkov.5 5.3 7.3 5. SMD = single-mandate district.5 5.6 6.

the former were often compared with medieval khanates.3). Enormous regional diversity can be considered to pose a threat not only to democracy in Russia.”21 The situation changed fundamentally in 1998–1999. Aman Tuleyev’s Kemerovo Oblast.59). urban. and then with the strengthening of the center. in many cases regions with opposite democracy rankings are close neighbors. but to its very existence as a unified state. which permitted the introduction of all these universal schemes at the regional level in practice (for more details see chapter 9).61). both at the parliamentary and the presidential elections (0. Because of their authoritarian regimes. Thus the latter two parameters are the most useful in estimating the level of democracy in a region.5–0. the turnout and the level of electoral violations at federal elections (0. with the country as a whole being referred to as “the federation of tyrannies. the intensity of competition at gubernatorial elections and the replacement of regional leaders (0. Yet despite the weakness of the statistical relationship between the great majority of partial evaluation indexes. with an increase in democratic development associated with movement from the more agrarian. most demonstrate a rather high correlation (0. Although a general northward gradient is apparent.73) and violations in federal elections (0. This correlation is especially high for the turnout rate in federal elections (0. and individualistic north. with the more prominent of these being the correlation between the number of effective parties and the level of popularity of negative voting. rural. The problem of both general and spatial contrasts arises here. Some exceptions are apparent.59). and paternalistic south to the more industrial. The fact that most of the binary correlations are not high and are statistically insignificant indicates that there is no collinearity between our different measures of democracy and the absence of double counting. and Mikhail Prusak’s Novgorod Oblast. and the magnitude of electoral violations and level of negative voting in federal elections (0. . Comparing the correlations among components of the integrated index of democracy based on elections also provides interesting results (table 10.7) with the composite democracy index.75).68).20 In 1990–1998 clear evidence indicated that political development was going in different directions within some of the ethnic republics and the rest of Russian regions.260 | Regional Models of Democratic Development Oblast. first with the adoption of a number of important laws that established universal principles of state power organization in the regions.

37 0.13 0.51 1.19 -0.00 0.30 1.59 0.05 0.47 0.10 0.36 -0.00 0.51 0.15 -0.51 0.11 0.26 0.00 0.06 0.00 0.and presidential Duma of regional Regional Federal Integral elections elections by SMDs lists torial torial elections (SMDs) head elections elections evaluation Turnout Table 10.10 0.42 0.19 0.00 0.33 0.14 0.75 1.00 0.23 0.19 0.25 1.Guberna. SMD = single-mandate district.08 0.27 0.3.20 0.00 0.19 0.57 0.00 Source: Calculations by Nikolai Petrov and Alexei Titkov.00 -0.43 0.59 0.37 1.66 0.30 0.48 0.24 0.65 0.Competitiveness Negativism Violations 1.61 0.37 0.26 0.08 0.00 0.10 0. Correlation Matrix of the Components of Democracy Index Based on 1999–2002 Elections .22 0.00 Duma Duma Duma and Guberna.34 0.41 0.05 0.25 0.62 0.18 0.00 1.07 1.Duma elections (party lists) Replacement presidential torial elections by party Guberna.68 0.43 0.09 1.36 0.41 0.15 1.00 0.22 0. Turnount: Duma and presidential elections Turnout: gubernatorial elections Competiveness: Duma elections by SMDs Competiveness: Duma elections by party lists Competiveness: gubernatorial Negativism: Gubernatorial Negativism: Duma (party lists) and presidential elections Negativism: Duma (SMDs) Replacement of regional head Violations: Regional elections Violations: Federal elections Integral evaluation 0.10 1.28 0.73 1.58 0.41 0.02 0.52 0.

Dagestan. Nizhegorodskaya. Petersburg. Other evidence pointing to the essential similarity between the initial and weighted evaluations is that the top six regions and bottom ten regions are identical in both cases. In a few cases a region’s rank improved considerably as a result of weighting. while the traditionally democratic European and Ural areas are represented here. as eight out of eleven factors became heavier. For example. The most democratic region. and Kaliningradskaya oblasts and Kamchatka and Sakhalin. is represented by the surrounding and less urban Moscow Oblast along with the economically depressed and opposition-oriented Ivanov and red belt Tambovskaya oblasts. in most cases the weighted evaluations differ little from the initial composite ratings. Moscow moved from its original fifth-seventh place to forty-fourth out of eighty-eight (Chechnya excluded). As expected. Moscovskaya. the composite democracy ratings for the regions increased as a result of weighting. Just as curiously. Amur. as well as for Astrakhanskaya Oblast. At the same time. The regions that fall into this category are Permskaya. Ingushetia. Leningradskaya. held its position. as did four of the authoritarian outsiders (Bashyortostan. nor by St. the Northwest Federal District is represented neither by Novgorodskaya Oblast. Similar changes in rank emerged for Tyumen Oblast and the Khanty-Mansiysky. Note that those regions whose ratings changed were located in the center of the distribution. Furthermore. where gubernatorial elections in particular appeared less democratic in the nonweighted composite ranking than in the weighted ranking. The stability between the nonweighted and weighted rankings is apparent.262 | Regional Models of Democratic Development As table 10.22 Several patterns emerge in relation to those regions that lead in terms of the efficacy of their electoral democracy. six regions kept their positions and sixteen moved up the scale by one place. Predictably. and Kabardino-Balkaria). the showcase of reforms. traditionally viewed as the bastion of democracy.4 shows. those regions that improved their position in comparison with the initial composite rating were those that had “heavyweight” factors like turnover of regional leaders and gubernatorial elections pushing them down. the central area. however. the Northwest Federal District is rep- . Among those regions whose rankings worsened after weighting were Primorye. Permskaya Oblast. Novosibirskaya. while the variation remained almost the same. and Krasnoyarsk. Ivanovskaya. and Yamalo-Nenetsky autonomous okrugs. the notoriously conservative south is not. Instead. Altai. Tambovskaya. As a whole. Chita. The gap between these extremes and the other regions increased slightly. rather than being represented by the city of Moscow.

2 4.5 2.5 2.9 4.6 3.8 4.6 3.4 4.4 3.7 3.3 3.2 4.5 3.6 3.3 3.1 4.6 3.1 3.5 3.0 4.5 3.1 4.4 4.0 4.0 3.5 3.8 3.6 3.5 4.1 4.5 2.6 3.8 4.7 3.0 3.0 2.1 3.1 4.2 3.6 3.7 2.9 4.4.9 4.9 4.2 1 2–5 2–5 2–5 2–5 6 7 8 9–11 9–11 9–11 12–13 12–13 14–19 14–19 14–19 14–19 14–19 14–19 20–24 20–24 20–24 20–24 20–24 20–24 26–28 26–28 26–28 29–31 29–31 29–31 32 33 34–35 34–35 36–38 36–38 36–38 39–40 2.2 4.0 3.5 2. Petersburg Stavropolskiy Volgogradskaya Voronezhskaya Tulskaya Chitinskaya Karelia Smolenskaya Tomskaya Irkutskaya Tverskaya Ulyanovskaya Bryanskaya Krasnoyarskiy Kurganskaya Taymyrskiy Khabarovskiy Vladimirskaya Omskaya Kaluzhskaya Weighted ratings Evaluation Place Evaluation Place 2.9 1 2–3 4 2–3 6 5 8–9 8–9 10–12 10–12 7 13–14 10–12 26–30 16–20 26–30 26–30 15 21–24 16–20 21–24 16–20 21–24 16–20 13–14 16–20 33–34 21–24 25 31–32 26–30 26–30 45–50 33–34 41–44 31–32 41–44 35–38 45–50 .7 3.9 3.Nikolai Petrov | 263 Table 10.7 3.3 4.4 3.6 3.9 4.7 3.5 3.0 4.8 3.3 3. Nonweighted and Weighted Ratings of Democracy Based on 1999–2002 Elections Nonweighted ratings Region Permskaya Moskovskaya Nizhegorodskaya Novosibirskaya Kamchatskaya Tambovskaya Ivanovskaya Leningradskaya Kaliningradskaya Ryazanskaya Sakhalinskaya Komi Tyumenskaya Amurskaya Orenburgskaya Primorskiy Arkhangelskaya Pskovskaya Sverdlovskaya St.9 4.3 4.5 3.2 3.8 3.2 3.4 2.4 3.5 3.0 4.9 3.9 3.0 3.5 3.8 4.6 3.6 4.

8 4.1 4.5 4.0 39–40 39–40 42 43–46 43–46 43–46 43–46 47–49 47–49 47–49 50–53 50–53 50–53 50–53 54–56 54–56 54–56 57–61 57–61 57–61 57–61 57–61 62–65 62–65 62–65 62–65 66 67 4. and the corruption.5 4.9 5.3 5.0 5.5 4.5 4. Leningradskaya Oblast (although the latter has outbid or equaled the former in attracting foreign direct investment in recent years).2 4.8 4.6 4.9 5. Political conflict is prevalent in relations between local governors and mayors of .7 4. Nonweighted and Weighted Ratings of Democracy Based on 1999–2002 Elections (continued) Nonweighted ratings Region Kostromskaya Chelyabinskaya Altai Mariy El Khakassia Penzenskaya Kirovskaya Murmanskaya Koryakskiy Khanty–Mansiiskiy Udmurtia Yakutia Kurskaya Nenetskiy Vologodskaya Lipetskaya Magadancskaya Moscow Yamalo–Nenetskiy Buryatia Astrakhanskaya Evenkiiskiy Yaroslavskaya Chiuvashia Samarskaya Komi–Permyatskiy Krasnodarskiy Jewish Autonomous Weighted ratings Evaluation Place Evaluation Place 4.8 4.0 4.4 4.264 | Regional Models of Democratic Development Table 10.3 4.7 4.4 5.6 4.5 4. They include the absence of consolidated elites and concomitantly the presence of political conflicts.1 5.5 4.and crime-ridden exclave of Kaliningradskaya Oblast. both in the present and in the recent past.2 4.1 5.7 4.2 4.0 5.8 5.8 4.4 4.9 5.7 4.8 4.3 4.2 4.3 4.2 5.9 4.7 4. Several common factors unite many of the most democratic regions.4 41–44 39 56–58 51–52 35–38 40 35–38 41–44 56–58 36–38 45–50 53–55 59–62 63–65 53–55 59–62 53–55 45–50 45–50 56–58 45–50 66–68 51–52 63–65 59–62 70–71 59–62 63–65 resented by its surrounding region.9 5.6 4.8 5.5 4.3 4.6 5.3 4.3 6.4 5.4.4 4.3 5.7 4.3 5.

8 6.6 6.2 6. and Nizhegorodskaya oblasts.3 6.8 6.7 5.6 7. in Kaliningrad and Kamchatka oblasts.2 6.6 6.5 7.3 5. Ivanov. This is the case in Tambov.4 5. and .5 69 77–78 66–68 66–68 75–76 72–73 72–73 74 70–71 77–78 75–76 79 80–81 83–84 80–81 82 83–84 85 86 87 88 Source: Calculations by Nikolai Petrov and Alexei Titkov.2 7.5 5. three of the regions—Nizhny Novgorod.3 68 69 70 71–75 71–75 71–75 71–75 71–75 76 77 78 79–80 79–80 81–82 81–82 83 84 85–86 85–86 87 88 5.4.5 5.5 6.6 5.5 6.9 7.4 8. Novosibirskaya.3 7.5 5.7 8.4 7.5 5. Moreover.8 6. regional capitals. Ivanov. This is the case in Permskaya.8 5.9 9.0 6.4 7. for example.5 5. Sakhalinskaya. Clashes also arise between the regional administration and the legislature as occurred. and Kamchatka oblasts.3 7. Another type of conflict existent in these democratic regions is a clash between an elite group controlling the administration and legislature and an oppositional elite. the mayors even competed against the governors in the gubernatorial elections in 2000 and won.6 5.8 8.9 6.7 7.Nikolai Petrov | 265 Table 10.5 6. Nonweighted and Weighted Ratings of Democracy Based on 1999–2002 Elections (continued) Nonweighted ratings Region Belgorodskaya Karachaevo–Cherkessia Novgorodskaya Altayskiy Adygeya Northern Ossetia Ust–Ordynskiy Buratskiy Chukotskiy Kemerovskaya Saratovskaya Rostovskaya Orlovskaya Tatarstan Kalmykia Tyva Aginskiy Buratskiy Mordovia Bashkortostan Ingushetia Daghestan Kabardino–Balkaria Weighted ratings Evaluation Place Evaluation Place 5. In Novosibirskaya and Permskaya oblasts.7 8.6 6. This common trend may be explained in part by the fact that the governors in these regions have neither outstanding popularity ratings nor reputations as political heavyweights with the requisite authority or gravitas to firmly consolidate their hegemony over other political actors and forces.2 5.

and Northern Ossetia). . disproving the widespread assumption that a democratic region is a region led by a democrat. Some examples include the real.266 | Regional Models of Democratic Development Kamchatka—are governed by communists. 24 However. the republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. No less eloquent on the level of divergence from the usual assessments are the pairs of regions that are of geographical and socioeconomic proximity. such as Tatarstan’s Mintimer Shaimiyev. Many of these are authoritarian. in Kalmykia. These regions fall into the undemocratic category for a variety of reasons. of our evaluative approach. our approach virtually excludes the possibility of initial bias on the part of experts in their preliminary assessments. Some of the regions included in that group are republics of the northern Caucasus (Ingushetia. long-term survivors whose election generally proceeded in the Central Asian manner as a referendum on public trust in the “father of a nation. the unexpected nature of our findings in this regard perhaps illustrates the advantages. and Orlovskaya Oblast.” Paraphrasing Leo Tolstoy. Kalmykia. because it breaks stereotypes and drives forward the search and debate on the specific positioning of regions on the democratic scale. these leaders and those from other similar regions have stayed in office for extended periods of time. two regions that have led in forging ethno-national republic sovereignty. and Orel’s Stroyev or the rise to power of brash “new Russian. well beyond any democratically acceptable limit. Perm. the Aga-Buryatsky Autonomous Okrug. Mordovia. not virtual “bastion of democracy” and industry.” post-Soviet outsiders such as Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. To begin with. Bashkortostan’s Murtaza Rakhimov. Kabardino-Balkaria. and heavily industrial Sverdlov Oblast (ranked twenty-fourth). The list of the ten least democratic regions is likely to be less controversial. From another perspective. but upon closer examination turn out to be very different. and Tuva. On balance. the fact that our evaluations diverge significantly from common views may invite the widespread disapproval of critics. as well as the disadvantages. One of them is the caution of regional leaders in the late Soviet era mold. the apparent counterintuitiveness of the evaluations concerning the most democratic regions is more useful than not. Moreover. while democratic regions are democratic in different ways. undemocratic regions are undemocratic in much the same way.23 No expert would likely label all the regions singled out in the two previous paragraphs as among the country’s most democratic—they are too different from most experts’ expectations and analyses.

St. which are located in the top third of the ranking. Two other groups seem not to correspond to previous expert analyses. the northwestern border regions Pskov Oblast (fifteenth and eighteenth) and Novgorod Oblast (sixty-sixth and seventieth). respectively). Ryazan (tenth). the numbers clearly show this group of regions to be closer to the bottom of the democratization scale. This concerns the actual political dynamics in the regions. Petersburg (seventeenth in the weighted list. and Novgorod (seventieth). twentieth in the nonweighted list) and Russia’s first city and real capital. Political change in each region progressed in proportion with that of the others. seem to play a greater role in the rating—and one hopes in the actual development of democracy—than the presence of democratically-oriented regional heads. but also the completeness and multifaceted character of the statistical method using electoral results.Nikolai Petrov | 267 Russia’s second city and northern capital.61 not only upholds the accuracy and usefulness of expert evaluations. including those that lead to the replacement of a leader in elections. and Bryansk (thirty-second). based on electoral statistics from the late 1990s to 2002—has produced informative results. communist. . thereby keeping the democracy ratings of regions relatively unchanged over time. Samara (sixtyfourth). Smolensk (twenty-seventh). One includes the conservative. The relatively high correlation between the results of the two separate evaluations of 0. Amursk (fourteenth). In general. The reverse case consists of a group of regions that had generally gained a reputation as national showcases of reform and includes the oblasts of Yaroslavl (sixty-second). The comparison of the two different evaluations of democracy—the first based on expert assessments for 1991–2001 and the second. conflicts. and the democratic bastion of Samara Oblast (sixtieth and sixty-forth). and the automotive Volga region Ulyanovsk (twenty-ninth and thirty-first). Despite their reputations. Tula (twenty-fourth). which until recently was considered to be a bastion of socialism.25 Another important deduction can be inferred from the similarity of results taken over a certain period. red belt region oblasts of Tambov (sixth). Moscow (forty-fifth and fifty-seventh.

totalitarian political regime to a more open and pluralistic system. after years of formal government control. while simultaneously moving from a closed. our analysis arrives at a some268 . and economic history.1 Ultimately. Despite this impressive list of changes. These transformations in the organization of the economy and of the political system occurred in the wake of another spectacular change: the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rebirth of Russia as an independent state. scholars and analysts have identified many flaws in Russia’s democracy. The fundamental principles of the former political system were revamped to promote the development of new. During this decade. But what do the people of Russia think? A conclusive assessment of the country’s successes and failures in creating a democratic regime must take into account the views of its citizens. Russians endured one of the fastest and most farD reaching transformations in their country’s political. As discussed elsewhere in this book. This chapter offers a broad overview of popular Russian attitudes about democracy based on research conducted by prominent Russian polling institutes between 1990 and 2001.11 Public Attitudes About Democracy Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov uring the 1990s. social. parts of the mass media became independent and began to play an important role in shaping public opinion. more democratic structures. Russia remains a state in transition whose future evolution and commitment to liberal democratic reform are still uncertain. Russia embarked on a painful transition from a centrally planned to a market economy. By the mid-1990s.

free access to information. for instance. By contrast. three episodes have forced this kind of binary choice: Boris Yeltsin’s political clash with the Supreme Soviet in 1993. Therefore anticommunist revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe and in the Baltic states took on a primarily political. this binary. anticolonialism. most Russians select democracy. polarized menu does not allow people to express the full range of attitudes they have developed about the democratization process. An Unusual Path Toward Democracy Contemporary political science has proposed many theories to explain the unique set of factors characterizing Russia’s transition. When offered only two options. market liberalization. the commitment to democratic norms is not as deep as it appears when viewed only through the bipolar lens of dictatorship or democracy. and. However.2 Since 1991. eventually. such as administrative lawlessness (at all levels of government). The chapter will demonstrate that Russian citizens were frequently offered only two choices in the 1990s: either to leap toward advanced liberal democracy or to return to autocracy. unlike in the Central and Eastern European countries and the Baltic states. with little or no middle ground. and attempts to limit certain democratic freedoms. This chapter explores several possible explanations for the origins of this striking inconsistency and its implications for democratization. such goals were not at the top of Russians’ priority list.”4 Democratic values were part of popular consciousness in some of the former Eastern bloc countries long before they saw the formal collapse of communism. its ability to successfully sustain itself for some seventy . including nationalism. Comparative studies have shown that in Russia. While most Russians strongly endorse fundamental democratic values. When a larger range of options is explored. the 1996 presidential elections. anti-Soviet nature and democratic values were bundled together with anti-Soviet views.Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov | 269 what paradoxical conclusion. the initial push for transition was not accompanied by a “revolution in values. unpunished violations of human rights. and the 2000 presidential elections. The disintegration of the communist regime in Russia was determined by a completely different set of factors. they also have a high degree of tolerance for blatantly undemocratic phenomena.3 The concept of democratic values figures prominently in this discourse. The durability of the communist regime in the USSR—that is.

Note that the decisive factor for this switch in attitudes among the majority of the public was the West’s palpable economic advantage. Without a doubt. The basic awareness that the Western economic system was more successful had produced attitudinal shifts by the late 1980s and early 1990s and democratic values quickly began to replace communist ideology. Many Russians—especially the younger generations—embraced democratic norms not because of deep-seated ideological values. and increasing bureaucratic arbitrariness—clearly evoked disappointment. Living behind the Iron Curtain. rather than as the preferred way to govern. Only after objective information about life in the West became available to millions under Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost was this myth dispelled. but because they saw democracy as a quick and easy way to improve their standard of living.”5 Given the idealistic optimism with which many Russians embraced the transition in the early 1990s. they took the first step toward the de-legitimization of the Soviet regime and toward the country’s democratic development. especially with regard to the state’s ability to provide the best variety of free. Although often omitted from Anglo-American treatises.” the respondent said. rising crime. democracy and equality are closely related concepts for many people and certainly for Russians. One response to a sociological survey in the early 1990s captured this way of thinking particularly well. As people began to rethink the values that had been drummed into their minds from early childhood. the unexpected costs engendered by the reforms—including a quickly declining standard of living. as was the case in Central and Eastern Europe. People saw democratic institutions and governing principles as a useful vehicle for attaining higher. Evidence of a better standard of living in the West convinced the Russian public that Western political systems were more efficient than their own communist model. The authoritarian communist state developed public legitimacy through the government’s constant appeals to the political myth of commitment to equality. Russians simply knew no other system. “Democracy. Western standards of living. and for a long time they believed that their own society epitomized the model of democracy. One of the defining factors of Russia’s transition to democracy was that the disillusionment .270 | Public Attitudes About Democracy years—cannot be attributed solely to its impressive bureaucratic mechanisms or even to intimidation by the state. not its political organization. universal social services. the myth of equality propagated by the Soviet government was sustainable only in a closed society that had no access to unbiased sources of information. “is when I wake up and feel good.

that even these groups saw no problem with the use of what Western observers would regard as undemocratic political tools. for their economic hardship. The second peculiarity of Russia’s transition—closely related to the first— lies in the country’s lack of strong democratic traditions. Accordingly. but negative attitudes about the economy did not produce a complete breakdown of faith in democracy. However. Indeed. skeptical attitude toward democracy among ordinary Russians. the prevailing logic endorsed disregarding democracy to improve general social conditions. Russians did not internalize democratic values. Russia had almost no experience with democratic governance. many people believed that a large number of democratic structures were incompatible with the conditions in Russia at the time. Before the 1990s. however. and the young. 68 percent of respondents believed that the political and economic reforms of the previous decade were “to the detriment of the people. the various national minorities. and as a result the demand for democratic reforms dwindled. according to a survey the Center for Sociological Research at Moscow State University conducted in the summer of 1990. the affluent strata of society (mostly modernized. while recognizing the significance of democracy for Russia’s future. only one-fifth of those who claimed to support democracy reported that they would be willing to actively contest the old system to pave the way for democratic reforms.Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov | 271 came almost as quickly as the euphoria.8 Therefore the failure of many socioeconomic reforms in the 1990s rapidly eroded people’s faith in democratic institutions. but also the democratic values themselves. Indeed.”9 Attitudes about economic reform were the primary determinant of attitudes about democracy. especially since their initial support had been so superficial. According to data from a March 2000 survey conducted by the Monitoring. such as the intelligentsia. the absence of stable democratic traditions fostered an ambiguous.6 This was true of Russia’s pre-Soviet history. pragmatic bureaucrats and the rising business elite).ru sociological service. Exaggerating how much energy and effort the public expended in the 1990s as it adapted to the country’s new social and economic order would . and it was equally true of the early transition period during perestroika.7 The historical absence of democratic practices meant. Citizens blamed not only the government. when an understanding of and active interest in advancing the cause of democracy was limited to small pockets of the population. When the economy collapsed simultaneously with the Soviet Union’s demise and then did not recover for years.

Lev Gudkov and Boris Dubin. This conservatism and the corresponding decline in support for basic democratic institutions and rights is reflected in the public opinion data collected by the Russian Independent Institute for Social and Nationalities Problems (RIISNP).11 As table 11. to be sure. Normative Perceptions The trends presented in table 11. the importance the general public attached to various democratic institutions and rights declined by an average of 10 percentage points from 1997 to 2000. The task for society was enormous. Most optimistically. the public at large has never questioned the need for transition toward a democratic system of government.10 The burden of constant adaptation throughout the 1990s fostered a conservative backlash and many Russians yearned for a return of the old system—totalitarian. This does not mean.1 might even appear encouraging if viewed within the context of Russia’s turbulent changes. Table 11. Regardless of whether or not the present social and political system guaranteed better living conditions. people preferred to leave things as they were: the one thing they explicitly do not want is change. Indeed. As two respected Russian sociologists and pollsters.12 Given the hard-hitting disappointment of the 1990s as a whole. Indeed.272 | Public Attitudes About Democracy be impossible. the majority of Russians’ recognition that most democratic structures—with the notable exception of a multiparty system and representative organizations—are an integral component of their country’s political system confirms a certain normative triumph of democratic values. but at least stable and predictable.1 summarizes the institute’s findings. noted: [T]he great majority of Russians in the second half of the 1990s expressed the view that they do not need anything beyond basic stability in their life and survival. that democratic values lost all currency. according to data from the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research (VTsIOM) a great majority of Russians . of course. these results can actually be interpreted as proof of a relatively robust popular democratic consciousness.1 shows. draining it of the time or energy to pursue other endeavors such as democratic development.

lines Reintroduction of private property Freedom for private enterprise Removal of communists from power Destruction of the totalitarian system Improved relations with the West Hope for Russia’s rebirth Improvement in the quality of goods and services Disappearance of the threat of another world war Source: All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research data.3 21.2).8 9.2 9. According to RIISNP survey data.9 67.6 15.8 15.2 Important 26.2 49.1. the majority of Russians (70 percent of polled respondents) associate the concept of civil and political liberties more with the 1990s than with any other decade in the twentieth century.8 36. 45 23 16 13 12 10 7 7 5 4 3 .2 29. Popular Assessment of Achievements of the Yeltsin Era. consider democracy and political freedoms to be the only significant achievements of recent years despite the negative experiences that most tend to associate with the Yeltsin era (table 11.6 17. State Duma) Free enterprise Freedom of speech and of the mass media Freedom to travel abroad Electivity of all organs of power 2000 Important Not important 39. ration cards.13 Regarding optimism about democracy.2 Source: RIINP data.1 56. Public Views of the Importance of Democratic Institutions and Rights.7 62. only 10 percent associated the presence of political and civil Table 11.7 75. 1997 and 2000 1997 Institution or right Multiparty system Representative organs of power (e.7 5. By way of comparison.1 20.2.4 64.Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov | 273 Table 11..7 32.g.5 Not important 49. the first decade of the postcommunist transition differed from any other period in Russia’s history.4 38. 2000 Achievement Percentage of respondents Nothing good Democracy and political freedoms Overcoming of shortages.9 77.2 52.6 85.

9 11. including the right to travel abroad.. eds.2 39.4 37. Rossiyskoe obshestvo: stanovlenie demokraticheskikh tsennostey? [Russian society: the formation of democratic values?] (Moscow: Moscow Carnegie Center.7 23. freedom of speech and of the press. liberties with prerevolutionary Russia and a mere 15 percent with the Soviet Union under Leonid Brezhnev.8 17. p.3. important .6 40.2 25.14 These findings are complemented by the results of more specific survey questions as depicted in table 11. “What is democracy?” most Russian respondents in various polls gave responses that parallel the findings of similar polls among Western publics.0 47.9 9.6 16.5 12.0 20. To the question.6 17.9 23. 1999).5 Source: Michael McFaul and Andrei Ryabov. freedom of movement.7 17. and entrepreneurial freedom.6 17.0 2.8 15.5 3. 211. Democratic features they believed to be completely new in the 1990s included free elections to organs of power.3.274 | Public Attitudes About Democracy Table 11. Yet despite these similar normative perceptions. Russians seem to draw a clear distinction between those elements of democracy that were previously observed in Russia’s political history and those that were not.8 3. Popular Perceptions of the Essentials for Democracy Essentials for democracy Equality of all citizens before the law Freedom of the press Independence of the courts Free elections of the authorities Opportunity to express one’s political views freely Direct election of the president by the people Freedom of religion Private property Presence of an opposition capable of influencing the president and the government Public participation in referenda on nationally important issues Freedom to travel abroad Freedom to choose one’s profession Small differences in people’s levels of income Freedom of movement within the country Right to choose between several competing political parties Worker participation in the management of enterprises Right to strike Self-sufficiency of the nation’s regions Free membership in a political party Submission of the minority to decisions by the majority Other Percentage of respondents 54.

disappointment with democratic reforms deepened in the mid-1990s when people realized that personal interests rather than normative convictions had shaped the ideologies of many leading reformers. the lack of transparency or professionalism. they resented that the democrats in power exploited. Some stark examples include the relatively low ratings assigned to personal freedoms. Indeed. the Russian public is keenly aware of an intrinsic divergence between the normative ideal of democracy and the reality that took shape in the aftermath of perestroika. it is a way of organizing society using a set of practical principles. This ordering is clearly discernible in the results of a poll that asked . these flaws. Two issues on which poll participants reached consensus were (1) that Russia’s government structures were still far from democratic. A large number of so-called democrats had a financial stake in the substance and implementation of the reforms they advocated. Russians distinguish between the ideal set of democratic practices and values listed in table 11.Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov | 275 differences remain between Russian and Western understanding of democracy. worker participation in enterprise management. this general outlook has not changed significantly since 1995. and the right to strike. This is revealed in part by the fact that even though poll participants identified the same set of key democratic features as their Western counterparts. democratic mechanisms at all levels of government. Most Russians believe that current democratic shortcomings result from misguided policies pursued by bad leaders and not from Russian history or traditions.4 show. the relative values they attached to these were considerably different. unpredictability. local self-government. and (2) that the ruling democratic leaders represented an impediment to the development of a true democracy. Most important. People continue to desire further democratization even as they recognize that to date democracy has failed to materialize. and the inability to establish a credible system of law and order. The public came to believe that the democrats were just as likely as the communists to seek personal gain through the use of corruption. rather than tried to change. As data from the RIISNP summarized in table 11. Data from a 1995 Public Opinion Foundation poll confirms this public disillusionment.3 and the set that is actually observed and practiced in Russia. The most important of these are (1) law and order. As the vast majority of Russians understand democracy. Fueled by economic hardship.15 Even though people understood that many of the government’s antidemocratic features were inherent in its structures. and (2) economic prosperity and social wellbeing.

This general disappointment may also be attributed to the overblown expectations for democracy at the outset of reforms.8 18. 2.3 23. 5.4 51.4 52.6 12.8 Source: RIINP data.7 60. Russian Attitudes Toward Democratic Procedures.0 59. The source of their real disillusionment is not democratization itself. Once again. public safety and law and order.1 18. respondents to rank the most important rights and freedoms available to individuals (rather than to society as a whole) in a democracy.5 47.5 20.4 66. The public’s lack of previous exposure to democratic mechanisms promoted idealized visions that ignored (1) the new system’s imperfections.0 74. The popular mistrust and scorn of contemporary democratic institutions evident today is in no small measure the result of a general disappointment with Yeltsin’s failed social and economic reforms. right to education. 3.16 The findings were as follows: 1. (2) the real difficulties of transitioning from the old totalitarian regime to a new democracy.1 56.4. and (3) the flaws in all democratic regimes. these results are an example of divergence between the normative popular perceptions of democracy that surfaced under Gorbachev and the actual quasi-democratic system that Russians have observed in their day-to-day lives since then. including the established liberal democra- .9 17. 4.9 17.7 21. right to a job. only politicians do 73.3 23. Selected Years (percentage of respondents) Agree Disagree Opinion 1995 1997 2000 1995 1997 2000 Democratic procedures are a facade Democratic procedures are indispensable Public participation is important Ordinary citizens have no role to play. equality before the law.8 70.0 74. right to privacy.8 66.3 13.9 11.8 13. equality of opportunity. but the particular course political leaders adopted in the early 1990s. 6.276 | Public Attitudes About Democracy Table 11.

Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov | 277 Table 11.”17 Various sociological studies conducted throughout the 1990s provide indirect confirmation of Gordon and Klopov’s study by revealing popular recognition of the distinct and irrevocable change in social psychology since 1917.600 people polled 54 29 17 68 21 11 Source: Leonid Gordon and Eduard Klopov. Table 11. legislature. the role of courts and the law. "Sovremennie obshestvenno-politicheskie preobrazovaniya v masshtabe socialnogo vremeni" [Contemporary public and political transformations on the scale of social time] Sotsis. According to Gordon and Klopov. Russians Became Irrevocably Different?” 1994 and 2000 (percentage of respondents) Response Agree Disagree Difficult to say 1994: 2. During the Soviet Period. cies in the West. offered to Russia as the best blueprint for rebuilding the polity. private property.5. it received relatively high approval ratings by Western leaders and the Western press. social structures. which appeared to have failed to aid Russia. the deterioration of the economic and social situation in the mid-1990s contributed to increasing general dissatisfaction with the West. the seeds of which had first begun to germinate in public consciousness in prerevolutionary Russia. no. emerging democratic notions included “principles of entrepreneurship. the Western model of democracy. norms of social behavior. seventy years of communism rooted out all understanding of democracy. 21. Indeed.000 people polled 2000: 1. and various rights and liberties such as the freedom of speech. had done little to improve Russians’ lives. Moreover. This adversely affected ordinary Russians’ perceptions of Western democracy. 1 (1998). Russians became irrevocably different?” Signals emanating from the West also influenced Russia’s democratization efforts.5 shows poll results on the question “Do you agree that. Even though the Russian public was highly critical of the political practices of Yeltsin’s administration. In their research. they ascribed the public’s unwillingness to embrace democratic principles and procedures to the mentality carried over from the Soviet era. Responses to the Question “Do You Agree That. during the Soviet period. Sociologists Leonid Gordon and Eduard Klopov conducted some of the most important work in this field of mass attitudes. the Yeltsin era was so difficult that after his departure about one-third of the nation’s population was firmly . p. At that time. In addition.

Moreover. be it from private landowners prior to the emancipation of serfs in 1861 or from the state. RIISNP studies demonstrate that more than 60 percent of all Russians believe that freedom is primarily “the ability to be one’s own master. which means something close to liberty. almost 70 percent of Russians were certain that “Russia is a civilization of its own and would never be able to transplant a Western way of life. These resurrected ideas had an important influence on society’s perceptions of the theoretical and legal dimensions of democracy as well as on social and political behavior. that the only set of ideas the public had to fall back on was the long forgotten beliefs of the pre-1917 era is hardly surprising.” By contrast. according to a German sociological survey. The realization of this traditional form of lib- . grounded to a large extent in the country’s historical. and political context.”18 This disenchantment with the West was not unique to Russia. liberalism. The best example of this interpretation of freedom is characterized by the term volya. social. Above all.278 | Public Attitudes About Democracy convinced that the values of individualism. the return to essentially medieval ideals influenced the popular notion of freedom. where. Traces of volya remain in contemporary understandings of freedom. democracy’s most fundamental tenet. The same percentage believed that a strong Western influence on Russia’s development was hindering the country rather than helping it cope with its problems. A similar phenomenon occurred in postunification Germany.19 The Historical Roots of Popular Attitudes About Democracy The identity crisis in which Russian society found itself in the 1990s can be explained largely by the hasty dismissal of its previous value system before a new set of values had taken root. The traditional Russian understanding of freedom is escapist. and representing liberation from something or somebody. only one-third of all Germans living in the region of the former East Germany were sufficiently satisfied with the democratic order that they would defend it at all costs. only a quarter of respondents viewed freedom in the legal or political terms prevalent in the West. as the collapse of the communist state seemed to promise an escape from oppression followed by self-determination. and has for centuries expressed the longing to be free from oppression. Given the resulting ideological vacuum. Indeed.20 The traditional Russian idea of freedom made sense in 1991. and Western democracy worked against Russia’s long-term interests and needs.

this popular perception is a hybrid of two popular ideological models that have dominated Russia’s political history and are deeply rooted in people’s consciousness. First. In the end. and. As Vladimir Lapkin astutely remarks. approximately 40 percent of Russians believed that the average citizen was best off living under a strong state with a strong public sector. RIISNP studies show that in 1995. only 13 percent of the population considered a hands-off state policy with regard to the economy to be optimal. this disconnect is an obvious hangover from Soviet times. as shown by the declining popular interest in active political participation. only 15 percent opted for completely centralized state management of the economy. however. during the Gorbachev era. that is. Social democratic models of development accept the principle that citizens and the state share responsibility for any problems and achievements. Second. however.Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov | 279 erty. This dependence on a paternalistic state directly contradicts the deep-seated escapist understanding of freedom noted earlier. to their employers or. is no . and most important. In many ways. to the state. responsibility rests solely with the state. albeit a public sector that remained open to opportunities for private enterprise and grassroots participation in politics. it failed to recognize that personal freedom entails personal responsibility for one’s decisions. leaving the reins in the hands of the state. which is not altogether inaccurate.”22 Some observers interpret such data as proof of Russian society’s commitment to a socially oriented market economy or a social democratic model of development. Russians have chosen the easiest path. at the other extreme. however. “a blend of the archaic principles of state paternalism and the [more recent] vision of a so-called ‘socialist democracy. has faced two significant problems. The birth of this ideal in the late 1980s.21 These statistics closely parallel the results of a Monitoring. even better. the goal it endorsed was incredibly idealistic.ru study conducted in May 2000. To the question “Which path of development would you have preferred for the nation during the past decade?” the majority of poll respondents (44 percent) replied that the government needed to “carry out reforms with social safeguards for the population. the political system most Russians prefer is utopian in nature. This preference for state responsibility remained consistent throughout the 1990s. In the eyes of the Russian public.’”23 As a result. when people had little incentive to assume individual responsibility and much incentive to pass it up the ranks instead. Beyond this middle-of-the-road position.

a fundamentally paternalistic presidential republic. national. 28 . where their locally elected governments centered on a single authoritarian elder. The regularly elected leaders in these societies were essentially free to govern as they saw fit and bore no obligation to their electorates. can the public transform from a mere voting crowd into a more assertive.25 Alongside this tradition of paternalism. we believe that this system is not the best path for Russia’s democratic development. politically active body. including an efficient system of local self-government. the usefulness. A good number of Russians (approximately 25 percent) fully support their country’s current system.27 The substantial.280 | Public Attitudes About Democracy accident: at this time new optimism about pending reforms and the possibility of freedom blended with the reality of paternalistic social structures that dominated the contemporary Soviet system. even if many democratically-oriented analysts deride it as an “elective monarchy” that discourages any public accountability to the electorate by the powerful head of state. Our model does not presuppose the participation of every individual. 26 During the Middle Ages. trade unions. The most vital component of a well-functioning democracy is active popular participation in and influence on policy making and not the delegation—and essentially the abdication— of power to the elite. political infrastructure. perhaps even decisive. pre-Soviet patterns of delegative rule also seem to have enjoyed a rebirth. notes American sociologist Robert Inglehart. social partnership. Democracy for the Elite? Despite its apparent popularity. above all. and local communities. of these mechanisms. Several preconditions support this opportunity. peasants and craftsmen fleeing the oppression of the feudal state formed separate communities on the outskirts of Muscovy (now Moscow). First is a solid.24 This model remains essentially unchanged to this day. Third is political will among the electorate to employ existing mechanisms to solve pressing problems both locally and nationwide. that is. Second is citizens’ basic confidence in the efficacy and. but it does extend the opportunity for involvement. courts. despite the intervening institutions of free elections and other mechanisms requiring active public intervention in public policy. influence of this system on Russians’ perception of the optimal political system is clearly visible. Only when all these conditions are fulfilled.

Disillusionment with the country’s current political course.7 2.Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov | 281 Table 11.4 3. The net effect is the rapid depreciation of democratic participation and the reinforcement of widespread skepticism about democracy.2 5.6. In the meantime. is reflected by the growing numbers of Russians who believe that no effective means for influencing the authorities exist: an increase from 42 percent in 1995 to almost 57 percent in 2000.4 1. citizens’ initiatives.4 2.6. as well as with the lack of opportunities for active political involvement.4 3.8 42.4 6. both formally and informally. Quantitative data confirm this trend as presented in table 11.7 4. because it indicates that Russians no longer view the legal system as merely a punitive organ. .4 1.9 4.4 – 4.4 1.9 N/A Source: RIISNP. although this in itself is important.2 15.0 2.4 56. Only the utility of going to court has increased in public estimation.7 22. are gradually pushed to the fringes of the political agenda.1 4. Selected Years (percentage of respondents) Method of influence 1995 1997 2000 Employed it in 2000 Taking part in elections and referenda Taking part in rallies and demonstrations Taking part in strikes Taking part in the activities of political parties Taking part in the activities of public organizations Appealing to the mass media Appealing to government agencies Taking independent action through personal contacts and acquaintances Going to court Effective means of influencing the authorities do not exist 22.5 46. The federal government continues to restrict the practice of local self-government.3 2.8 3.2 2.5 4.0 5. N/A = Not applicable. Trade unions seem to engage more in publicity stunts than in building concrete social partnerships at the grassroots level.5 53.0 6.6 7.4 9. People’s Perceptions of Effective Ways to Influence State Authorities.2 1.3 3.5 2. The institutions that have emerged over the past decade do not encourage democratic participation.2 3.7 – 4. such as ecological movements or committees of soldiers’ mothers.2 5.4 21.5 4.

most Russians (80 percent) had become convinced that the authorities had little interest in the opinions of ordinary people. The low level of public participation in politics does not only reflect the low public value placed on these activities. Accordingly. As discussed earlier. whose study demonstrated that people tend to view political processes to be democratic if they perceive their architects and actors as being moral and as having an internalized obligation to serve the needs of ordinary citizens. as Diligensky’s findings suggest.29 If.31 Post-Soviet society adopted this posture of indifference in part because of the cautious approach to politics that prevailed during Soviet times. The increasingly oligarchic and authoritarian tendencies of the ruling elite also play an important role in encouraging the public to maintain a distance from politics. an objective that required maximum cover from public scrutiny. why did it not work in Russia? The answer is that few Russians understand democracy as a way to communicate societal preferences to states authorities. but also explains its unwillingness to aid the democratization process once under way. the elites formulated a new twist on the traditional idea of escapist freedom: they released the public from most of its responsibilities . public faith is all that is required for democracy to function. This hands-off attitude toward politics on the part of the public served the interests of the political and business elites. and we will leave you alone. some of the most compelling evidence comes from analyst Herman Diligensky. Such an arrangement did not materialize in Russia.6 illustrates this phenomenon. Russia’s new political and economic elites wanted society to be demobilized so they could profit from the redistribution of former state property. By the mid-1990s. In this connection. participatory democracy works only if the general public recognizes and performs its vital role in the political process—particularly its indirect responsibility as a collection of voting individuals—to set the tone and direction for policy. After the collapse of the Soviet Union. showing the low percentages of respondents who admitted having participated in any kind of political activity the previous year.282 | Public Attitudes About Democracy Sociological surveys also indicate that even though levels of popular participation in electoral activities are often relatively high.30 This widespread disillusionment not only reveals the public’s original expectations. Table 11. where public indifference to political decision making suggested the attitude was one of leave us alone. public interest is much lower in more active types of political participation.

3 94. citizens delegated full powers to their allegedly democratic representatives without reserving any real checks on their behavior. Mansurov. as table 11. creating the system that still persists. but also ceased to collect taxes. Social Stratification in Post-Communist Russia The social alienation induced by the elites also points to another important issue in relation to public participation in the democratization process: Russia suffers from extreme social stratification and the lack of a middle .Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov | 283 Table 11. to the state and relieved the state of its burden to the public.5 3. the elites’ concerted attempts to alienate the public from politics resulted in political apathy and subdued public activism.9 71. Furthermore.8 shows. Rezultati sociologicheskogo oprosa naselenia Rossii (Issledovania Centra Socioexpress Instituta Sociologii RAN: 1998).7. For example. Moreover. participatory democracy became increasingly distant.5 0. Under these conditions. while many people remained critical of the “elitization” of politics engendered by this system.0 14. Sovremennoe Rossiyskoe obshestvo: perehodniy period.5 7.6 19.7 Source: V. After voting candidates into office. 1998 (percentage of respondents) Expectation Everyone should have an equal opportunity to influence government policies The country ought to be governed by those with experience Only leaders and experts can choose the correct path for our country in this complex world Agree Disagree Undecided 54. In return. This indifference only deepened as the many hardships of the transition period relegated political and public activities secondary to more immediate needs. Concern for family and friends took precedence over collective action even given the opportunity to organize around common problems. Popular Expectations of Political Leaders. even at the grassroots level. most Russians continued to hope that it would eventually facilitate the advent of wise leaders. the public kept out of politics and the shady dealings of the authorities.7 illustrates this contradiction. This implied benefits for both parties. the state stopped paying wages to public employees.5 12. Table 11. the prospects for a well-functioning.

social classes are not static. sociological findings reveal a close. which hit the socioeconomic interests of the middle class hardest of all. This mobility is significant because. In other words. as theories repeatedly emphasize that this class contributes most to the promotion of democracy. Mansurov.9 26. as shown by survey results presented in table 11. it is still too small and too vaguely defined to influence the country’s political course.8 32. however. The failure to develop a middle class is particularly significant. as rents and state-owned assets dwindle. Indeed.8 15. Hierarchy of Personal and Public Values Which of the following is most important for you? Responsibility for yourself and those close to you Friendship Social justice Privacy Individual freedom Equal opportunity for all citizens Opportunity to choose your residence National identity Solidarity with like-minded others Patriotism Responsibility for events in Russia Readiness to participate in solving common problems Independence from society and the state Difficult to say Percentage of respondents 49. an important reason for the slow progress toward democracy lies in the incompleteness of Russia’s post-communist social transformation. Sovremennoe Rossiyskoe obshestvo: perehodniy period. class.5 9.284 | Public Attitudes About Democracy Table 11. the higher people’s level of material well-being.9 39. Rezultati sociologicheskogo oprosa naselenia Rossii (Issledovania Centra Socioexpress Instituta Sociologii RAN: 1998).9.5 12.2 Source: V.2 4.7 6.0 23. the greater the value they attach to democratic ideals and mechanisms.8.5 37.33 Extremely wealthy people or oligarchs were an exception to the dominant pattern in that they had no interest in democratic institutions during the transition from communism to capitalism. The financial crisis of August 1998. as mentioned earlier. positive correlation between people’s socioeconomic status and their degree of engagement in the democratic political process. even the oligarchic class has an interest in developing democratic institutions to constrain the state. Today. While Russia does have a middle class.9 3. . 32 However.3 10. only aggravated this stunted development.0 11.

1 15. the State Duma) Freedom of enterprise Freedom of speech and of the mass media Freedom to travel abroad Electivity of all government bodies 31. Recent empirical studies complement these findings: despite relatively high popular interest in following day-to-day politics (70 percent.5 11. Ironically. received the keys to the Kremlin from his old boss. respectively).8 25.9.7 40. In contrast to Furman’s pessimism.0 50.9 23.2 31. High.9 33.8 43.5 71. Threats to the Development of Democratic Culture Analysts both in Russia and in the West hotly debate the future of democracy under Vladimir Putin. as a predetermined heir.4 63. Views About Democracy by Respondents’ Social Class (percentage of respondents) Middle-income strata Element of democracy Low-income strata Below the poverty line Important Unimportant Important Unimportant Important Unimportant Multiparty system Presence of representative organs of power (e. Yeltsin.Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov | 285 Table 11.9 39.and middle-income groups account for less than one quarter of the population (0.5 percent and 23 percent.1 35.0 51. while 57 percent of Russians are low income and 17 percent live below the poverty line.0 33.34 One leading Russian scholar.g.3 76.8 16. traditional.7 12.0 55.7 85.7 31. that is.8 61. hybrid political animal that combines a revived.2 18.”35 Putin. Given these statistics and our earlier discussion. this resulted in the creation of an extraordinary.5 66. the parallel patterns of elitization and widespread political alienation are not surprising. Dmitri Furman. on average).7 68. those active in politics.6 42.3 20.9 66. argues that Putin’s election brought about a “peculiar elected monarchy.. This figure approximates the size of Russia’s political class. essentially to be legitimized by the popular ballot. only a small percentage of people (less than 2 percent) said that they had participated directly in political activities. autocratic-monarchical system of government with conditions of free political activity and freedom of choice.5 37. other analysts suggest that Putin’s inaugu- .6 10.1 56.9 Source: RIISNP.9 16.9 28.8 40.8 5.

even the kind of democracy that would best fit Russia’s historical and immediate political needs. The wave of public sentiment that swept Putin into office formed long before the 2000 elections.286 | Public Attitudes About Democracy ration as president began a new phase that would offer opportunities for the development of democracy.37 If anything. argued that Putin’s government would mark a positive departure from Yeltsin’s old self-interested demagoguery and would pave the way for a transition to true freedom—liberty guaranteed by the state. both optimists and pessimists agree on the importance of the president. this popular preoccupation with stability and order somewhat confirms Furman’s hypothesis that the Putin government is indeed an autocracy endorsed by the people.36 Most Russians do not view the latest change of leadership as a black-andwhite transition from the democratic Yeltsin to the autocratic Putin. Boris Kapustin. 81 percent of those asked whether order or democracy was more important for Russia supported order. This desire for order figured prominently in the federal elections of 1998–2000 and largely determined their results. The turmoil of the Yeltsin era only increased the appeal of a stronger government. A close look at Putin’s track record further substantiates Furman’s view. It developed out of public frustration with the hardship and chaos that followed. what most people feared was not an excessively strong government but. They even commented that.38 The Continued Centrality of Leaders In relation to Putin’s impact on democratization. demonstrating people’s widespread concern. effective social agent. Furthermore. While this universal preoccupation certainly captures an important truth about Russia’s political . discrediting the seemingly empty promises of the democratic values that had once underwritten both Yeltsin’s legitimacy and his political platform. A mere 9 percent favored the preservation of democracy as being more important. could not restore order and stability following the disruptive reforms of the 1990s. the August 1998 default. Few believe that the current leadership is attempting to establish a strictly authoritarian regime. on the contrary. a concern expressed by only 14 percent of Russians polled in 2000. for example. not liberation from it. in pursuit of this priority. among other things. the violation of certain democratic principles and the restriction of individual liberties were fully acceptable. and exposed a widespread desire to restore the government as a strong. like Yeltsin’s. a weak one that. In 2000.

The idea of self-supporting individuals who are able to freely exercise their rights provided they are not bothered by the state finds alarmingly little reflection in Russia’s reality. The concentration of decision-making power in the hands of a small elite could lead to despotism in the absence of popular checks.40 Whether out of necessity or because of its inherent approach to politics. a period of conservative retrenchment sometimes described as a “post-revolutionary Thermidor. they simply ignore them. some of these problems lie in the actions and behavior of the authorities themselves. The American political scientist Stephen Holmes offers a pessimistic answer to this question. others are rooted in society and its beliefs. the overall political environment still poses many notable impediments to democratic development.Russian society can be likened to an hourglass that does not work.Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov | 287 system.39 Thus the question is whether Russia’s historically centralized.. while the underdevelopment of a public committed to the principles and practice of democracy creates conditions that permit democratic backsliding. the public mirrors this arrangement perfectly in its sharply differentiated .. The spectacle of political disorder in post-communist Russia reminds one of the deep connections between liberalism and a functional state system. Even though Russia has taken several small steps toward democratization. Those at the top neither exploit nor oppress those on the bottom. Russian citizens need a greater appreciation of their unalienable democratic rights and the legitimate limits to government power. In 1997 he noted that the contradiction between emergent liberalism on the one hand and a towering federal government on the other has pulled post-communist Russia in two irreconcilably different directions. Only the strengthening of such attitudes can guarantee Russia’s future democratic progress. top-heavy political system can ever become conducive to broad democratization and whether it can be supported by an effective and functional government structure. They don’t even govern them. and still others are attributable to Russia’s sociocultural and historical peculiarities. As already noted. laying the foundation for most of the country’s major political difficulties since 1991.” fall into this last category. Characterizations of the most recent stage of Russia’s political development. the prospects for democracy clearly do not depend entirely on the will of a single person.

10 illustrates this divergence between people’s goals and their willingness to take appropriate measures to carry them through by revealing that the public’s apparent disaffection with bribery contrasts with its approval of draft evasion and resistance to police penalties following civil offenses. So-called transitologists emphasize that the transitional nature of post-communist society promotes parochial attitudes discouraging civic morality and responsibility.0 34. This. Table 11. the public has idealized the state while harboring negative feelings toward the government in power. bifurcated perception became particularly pronounced during the Yeltsin era.0 25. One socio-psychological study found that 92 percent of Russians surveyed expressed a positive attitude toward the state while only half as many responded favorably to various references to the government.3 14.3 37. many Russians desired both a strong state to restore law and order and the freedom from the state that would allow them to avoid taxes or evade the very laws they championed. widens the gap between the political elite and the people. when. most prominently philosopher Valentina Fedotova. 371.41 This longstanding. p.8 56. as discussed earlier.7 Should be handled leniently 7.3 15. ideas of state and government.10. Moral Infractions (percentage of respondents) Action Bribe giving or taking Evading taxes Evading the draft Resisting the police Can never be justified Is sometimes permissible 67.3 Source: Rossiya na rubezhe vekov [Russia on the brink of centuries] (Moscow: Russian Independent Institute of Social and Nationalities Problems and Russian Political Encyclopedia.42 By contrast. removes all means of communication and feedback.2 9.288 | Public Attitudes About Democracy Table 11.7 38. believe that the government has failed to guide society and therefore deserves the full blame for the dearth of civic responsibility. Various explanations for this paradox exist. and ultimately causes the political demobilization of society.4 48. Historically. traditionalists.0 46. 2000). The government’s reluctance to involve itself in the difficult task of engaging the public to solve social problems means that the state has left the public to find its own solutions. the argument goes.43 .

80 percent of Russians considered the opposition to be necessary for a stable political system.7 3. pp. Furthermore. Major changes in the public’s attitude toward the role of the opposition serve as visible manifestations of this trend. the Russian authorities today.8 Source: RIISNP (2000). are left to do essentially as they please.8 12. Traditionalists.3 23. Notes: See also V. oligarchic system of government in the wake of failed reforms and various political corruption scandals. however. just as before. now only 55 percent hold this view. "Demokratiya v vospriyatii Rossiyskogo Obshestva.Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov | 289 Table 11.1 1." Carnegie Moscow Center Bulletin (July 2001). "Democracy in the Opinions of the Russian Society. public disaffection is increasingly directed toward those who oppose or criticize Putin." Carnegie Moscow Center Bulletin (March 2001).7 9. people now see . 10–11. In the mid-1990s. Once directed at the Yeltsin elites and the clannish.9 10. For the public.11).8 6. he has tarnished his opponents and distanced himself from the man who handpicked him for the presidency. People’s Views About the Motor of Social Transformation Cause of social transformation Percentage of respondents President Vladimir Putin Russian people as a whole Market economy-oriented people Entrepreneurs Academics and teachers The mass media The middle class The government The Russian military Creative intelligentsia Political parties The State Duma 45. To preserve that powerful image. pp.4 13. 10–11 and V. A survey asking individuals to name the “engine of social transformation” found that the majority of Russians value the president above themselves as political actors (table 11.4 6.4 35.3 11. Putin embodied renewed hope.11. support their claims with reference to the public culture of passivity that was shaped by the Yeltsin and Putin administrations. The transitologists’ view is reinforced by evidence of society’s rising paternalism and conformism. With next to no input from the public and little dialogue with generally accepted moral authorities (with the possible exceptions of Patriarch Alexei II or Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn). Petukhov. Petukhov.

7 74.6 45. many analysts have some reservations about the prospects for democratic development in Russia. Public Readiness to Support Authoritarian Measures in Exchange for Leading the Country Out of Crisis.9 Source: RIISNP.6 20. the proposition that Russia stands on the brink of a choice between democracy and authoritarianism is .2 60. however. As the foregoing theories and analyses indicate. the opposition will weaken significantly in the future.7 51. At the same time.1 18. As table 11.6 35. Most Russians are by no means fully satisfied with the course of reforms as they have developed thus far. This does not suggest that the opposition will disappear. It will probably transform into a body independent of the political system and will draw its legitimacy from its quasi democratic appearance in the eyes of the world community rather than from national public opinion or the party system.3 57.7 30.6 12. the opposition not as an instrument of criticism.0 45.4 63. International approval will not.6 12.6 49. they value the rights and liberties gained over the last decade and understand that.5 19.6 68.1 17.6 70. the predictions that democracy will be rolled back upon the request of the working masses are unfounded. the current political system does provide some form of stability and protection against chaotic power struggles. despite all its imperfections.3 68. but as a source of assistance to the authorities.4 25. and if Russian public opinion is a guide. increase its influence domestically.2 12.2 18.3 12.290 | Public Attitudes About Democracy Table 11.5 62.2 62.12 shows. however. the traditional idea of political opposition as a whole has lost much currency in the eyes of the Russian public. 1995 and 2000 (percentage of respondents) Are these authoritarian measures acceptable in exchange for leading the country out of crisis? Banning political associations and newspapers that speak out against the present government Confiscating the fortunes illegally amassed by "new" Russians Banning strikes and other collective actions Restricting the freedom to travel abroad Canceling all elections for the near future Using military means to eliminate the conflicts that threaten Russia’s territorial integrity Suspending the parliament for the period of transition and concentrating all power in the hands of the president and the government Yes No 1995 2000 1995 2000 10.0 10. Clearly.12.2 50.

for its current stage of development. if not remarkable. In other words. The phrasing of survey questions. Russia’s form of democracy is clearly underdeveloped if measured against the liberal. the public clearly expresses its faith or disappointment in reforms and other developments. When asked “What would most help the development of Russia in the twenty-first century?” 54 percent of the public surveyed looked to scientific and technological progress. A truly objective analysis must factor in the history and distinctive characteristics of Russia’s transition seen in the context of global trends. This was evident during the first Chechen war and various election campaigns. most Russians believe that democratic values and institutions make sense only when included in the overall context of Russia’s development for the common good. In absolute terms. however. democratic standard of the West. On the one hand. The debate concerning public opinion and democracy is ongoing. the public is also vulnerable to political manipulation. Conclusion Benign skepticism characterizes many assessments of the development of democracy in Russia. often has a decisive impact on their results.Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov | 291 rather far-fetched. but on the other hand. authoritarian government. and a mere 10 percent saw the development of a genuine democracy as critical. yet the question remains whether Russia has a public whose opinion counts. . The fact that most Russians want to see this new regime improve along a democratic trajectory might be the most hopeful sign of all. In relative terms. A politically empowered public is essential to a developed democracy. the standard that Russia has achieved is certainly adequate. What research data do show is that while Russians generally support a paternalistic form of government. they categorically oppose any extreme. In general. optimists who foresee the future consolidation of democratic principles and laws outnumber pessimists who fear the establishment of an authoritarian regime. 48 percent mentioned better enforcement of law and order. 35 percent stated the development of education. however. and the jury is still out on its attributes and accomplishments.

The Russian polity has considerably less pluralism 292 . as many powerful Soviet-era institutions. and the procuracy. the military. a fledgling party system. Instead of seeking to improve the quality of Russia’s democracy. Nikolai Petrov. and corrupt and ineffective legal institutions. dismantled the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In the wake of this regime destruction. avoided reform in the 1990s. a weak and detached civil society. Yeltsin proved to be more able at destruction than construction. and therefore dependent on owners with political motivations. and destroyed the Soviet command economy. and Andrei Ryabov political system that President Vladimir Putin headed at the end of his TdenthefirstBoris term as president differed qualitatively from the regime that PresiYeltsin had bequeathed to him. a media sector incapable of turning a profit. In his four years in office. Russia’s democracy had many flaws: a constitution that gave overweening power to the president. By the end of the decade. Nor was his destruction of the ancien régime complete. Putin has devoted considerable time and energy to weakening what were already fragile democratic institutions. Putin has done little to correct these flaws. including the intelligence services. Yeltsin managed to build only weak political institutions of a democratic nature. therefore. The first Russian president helped to guide the Soviet empire to a relatively peaceful collapse.12 Postscript: The 2003 Parliamentary Elections and the Future of Russian Democracy Michael McFaul.

while at the same time strengthening the state’s ability to violate the constitutional rights of individual citizens. Russia’s experiment with jury trials has produced some unexpected outcomes in which the will of ordinary citizens trumped the preferences of the state. This project began in Chechnya. and thus welcome a new era of calm and stability. and Andrei Ryabov | 293 in 2004 than it did in 2000. For derzhavniki—those who desire a strong state—like Putin. Putin and his government have strengthened the state after a decade of decay. Nonetheless. of Russia’s democratic institutions since independence. Putin has systematically weakened or destroyed every check on his power. and obligation shirking. Putin had the perfect pretext for . When the fanatic Chechen commander. or lack thereof. the human rights of individual citizens are less secure today than they were four years ago. Pockets of positive change have occurred under Putin. quasi-anarchy.1 More generally. The legal reforms that presidential aide Dmitri Kozak drafted and that the Duma passed into law have fueled hope that the rule of law may someday determine the way the Russian courts currently work. eroded. moved into neighboring Dagestan in 1999 to liberate the Muslim people of the Caucuses. The formal institutions of Russian democracy remain in place. most of the post-Soviet elite who acquired power and property during the Yeltsin era seek to preserve their status and wealth. however. public demand for more democracy and greater protection of human rights has not increased during the Putin era. Putin has not canceled elections or suspended the constitution. the people as a whole are tired of the chaos. On the one hand. Nikolai Petrov. In addition. uncertainty. On the other hand. Each chapter of this book has attempted to trace the development. and most assessments of the individual components of a democratic polity have identified a negative trend for democracy in the last four years.Michael McFaul. and injustice that they associate with the Yeltsin era. the anarchy in Chechnya was the most embarrassing testament to Russia’s weakness. Finally. Putin enjoys solid and stable support among both the elite and the masses. and everyone concurs that a functioning state is a necessary condition for effective democracy. Indeed. The actual democratic content of these institutions has. This combination gives Putin a powerful social base and the capacity to make antidemocratic changes to the way that Russia is ruled. and therefore welcome a guarantor of stability and the status quo in the Kremlin. Shamil Basayev. Most chapters conclude by tracing the trajectory of democratic development during the Putin era.

3 The state has refused to respond. The state still owns 100 percent of RTR. Russian authorities arrested Russia’s richest man. NTV’s original team of journalists tried to make a go of it at two other stations. the Federal Security Service. only three television networks had the national reach to really count in politics: ORT. and destruction of civilian property that has accompanied the war have revealed how little value Putin assigns to protecting individual human rights. after all. have the right to defend their borders against invading forces. so this network quickly became a loyal mouthpiece for Putin and his policies. Putin effectively acquired control of Russia’s largest television network. His lawyers have issued reports documenting how his and his associates’ constitutional rights have been violated. By running Russian oligarch and former Putin sponsor Boris Berezovsky out of town. However. Vladimir Gusinsky. The rape.294 | Postscript: The 2003 Parliamentary Elections invading Chechnya. television came next. who eventually lost his property and then fled the country. Elections in Chechnya since the second war began have been a mockery of the democratic process. After Chechnya. All states. But the anarchy of the early 1990s provided Putin and his lieutenants with a treasure chest of compromising material on anyone who was trying to do business back then. Today the Kremlin de facto controls all national television. ORT. Next came the regional barons. RTR. the way in which Putin’s army has fought this war has demonstrated his weak commitment to defend the rights of Russian citizens. The acquisition of the third channel. because it was in private hands.2 The constitutional rights of Russian businesspeople considered disloyal to the Kremlin have also been violated when they have been charged and held for alleged crimes. has increased the number of arrests of Russians accused of treason and espionage. NTV. Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In October 2003. the successor to the KGB. governors of oblasts and presidents of republics acquired genuine political autonomy when power in Moscow evaporated. In the 1990s. These alleged spies have been held for years without being notified of their alleged crimes or being tried. proved more difficult. Chechnya is not the only place where Russian citizens’ rights are violated. Charges were filed against NTV’s principal owner. To reassert Moscow’s dominance. on charges of fraud and tax evasion. and Russia was obligated to address the lawlessness that enveloped Chechnya after the Khasavyurt accord ended the first war in 1996. but eventually failed. Putin started by creating seven new supraregional executive authorities whose mandate is to . murder. pillage. and NTV. When Putin came to power. Putin’s former employer.

With exceptionally troublesome regional leaders. To make the Duma more compliant. Senate. but that was not good enough. Informally. Putin and his administration took advantage of earlier successes in acquiring control of other political resources (such as NTV or the backing of governors) to push hard for a complete victory in the December 2003 parliamentary election. and national television networks were divided. oligarchs.S. and Andrei Ryabov | 295 enforce Putin’s policies at the regional level.6 In 2003. Formally. the Kremlin has exercised considerable influence in shaping the selection of these representatives.5 In the 1999 parliamentary election.Michael McFaul. built in no small measure on the remnants of the old Communist Party of the Soviet Union. those who resisted submission to Putin’s authority. the Kremlin’s greatest asset was Putin himself. This new party. and near unanimous endorsement from regional leaders also contributed to United Russia’s success. that is. because sometimes a coalition of dissenters in the previous Duma had blocked Putin’s initiatives. He then emasculated the Federal Council. regional elites. a presidential endorsement helped the electoral prospects of United Russia enormously. Putin’s aides then resurrected “party” politics in the regions by inviting or coercing regional executives to join Putin’s party. Nikolai Petrov. Russia’s closest approximation to the U. Because he enjoyed an approval rating that hovered between 70 and 80 percent during the fall 2003 campaign. United Russia. resulting in a real battle between Fatherland-All Russia and Unity. Of course. the one oligarch . After the 1999 parliamentary election. Mikhail Khodorkovsky. by removing governors and heads of regional parliaments from this upper chamber. hardly any divisions occurred among these groups. Disqualifying candidates from the ballot on some technicality became the weapon of choice. federal authorities have rigged elections to ensure their downfall.4 Constant positive coverage of United Russia leaders and negative coverage of Communist Party officials on all the national television stations. Putin enjoyed a majority of support within the Duma. each regional executive appoints one representative to the Federal Council and each regional legislature appoints one representative to the upper house. the final two components to be tamed and weakened were the Duma and the independent political parties that worked within the lower house of parliament. effectively making this parliamentary body a rubber stamp for Kremlin policies. the media. After Chechnya. is expected to provide the Kremlin with another institutional mechanism for controlling regional politics. overwhelming financial support from Russia’s oligarchs. and the regional governors.

Second. After the 2003 vote.7 Neither crossed the 5 percent threshold needed to win seats through the system of proportional representation or fared well in the single-mandate contests (Yabloko won four seats.0 percent of the party list vote. They formed the nucleus of a proto-party system. Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces. The final results of the 2003 election represented a major victory for the Kremlin. At the same time that parties loyal to Putin surged. the Duma represented a check—albeit a weak one—on presidential power. support rooted in society. the Union of Right Forces won three seats). the 2003 election further weakened independent party development. . Equally important. United Russia won 37.5 and 9. headed by Sergei Glaziev and Dmitry Rogozin—won 11. those parties independent of the Kremlin faltered. the new parliament will be totally loyal and subservient to the Kremlin.6 percent of the popular vote. while two nationalist parties loyal to the Kremlin—Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and the newly formed Rodina (Motherland). the United Russia faction boasted 300 members. respectively. No more. winning more than 100 seats. was sitting in jail on election day. When the new Duma first convened two weeks after the election. the liberals will not have a faction in the parliament. The 2003 election cut the CPRF faction in the Duma in half and eliminated the CPRF as a pivotal player in the legislature. and ideological orientations that could be plotted on a traditional left-right scale. winning only 11 seats out of 225 contests. Even more shocking was the dismal performance of Russia’s two liberal democratic parties. while parties’ dependence on the state for their survival has grown. United Russia also performed exceedingly well in the 225 single-mandate districts. First. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) won only 12. CPRF incumbents lost in dozens of races in single-mandate districts. the political orientations (especially along the traditional left-right spectrum) of Russia’s party system have become less clear. For most of the 1990s. The three big losers in the December 2003 election were all parties with long histories. only one vote short of the two-thirds majority needed to amend the constitution.296 | Postscript: The 2003 Parliamentary Elections who had pledged to support parties not loyal to the Kremlin.6 percent of the popular vote. half of its total in 1999. The results of the 2003 elections had two major negative consequences for democratic development in Russia.8 For the first time since competitive elections began in Russia in 1990.

When observed in isolation. but it is not open defiance of the law or a complete disdain for democratic procedures. At the same time. In the long run. he has shown no desire to resurrect full-blown dictatorship.Michael McFaul. The real question for the short term. he must be distinguished from those communists. In the short run. Under more dire circumstances. namely. He has not taken the more extreme steps of canceling elections or arresting hundreds of political opponents. Berezovsky and Gusinsky have many skeletons in their closets. Even during his persecution of dissident forces. he probably has the power to suspend the constitution altogether. The government in Chechnya did not work. and a smattering of individual politicians in the Duma and regional assemblies—have little or no power. not from the media. and Islamists from the past and present who have . fascists. Putin has not articulated any alternative ideology or project in opposition to democracy. Nikolai Petrov. and Putin is popular. he has used the law. therefore. terrorists did and do reside there. He can certainly amass the support needed to amend the constitution and extend his time in office. Those willing to criticize the president—human rights activists. the thread uniting these events is clear. some of the regional barons that Putin has reigned in behaved like tyrants in their own fiefdoms. the forces of internal modernization and international integration will push Russia in a democratic direction. and Andrei Ryabov | 297 The 2003 vote also confirmed the obvious: the 2004 Russian presidential election will not be competitive. however. thus the results of the December 2003 parliamentary vote reflect the popular will. His is an arbitrary use of the law for political purposes. is what kind of political system does Putin ultimately desire? To date he has demonstrated little tolerance for criticism or checks on his power. Putin now faces no serious opposition: not from governors. In this sense. not from oligarchs. making the 2004 election a nonevent. Putin’s victory is assured. Khodorkovsky is no Sakharov. not brute force. the elimination or weakening of independent sources of political power. currently limited by the constitution to two terms. not from political parties. But when analyzed together. The new balance of power within the polity offers Putin the possibility of ruling Russia for a long time. and not from the upper or lower houses of parliament. each of the outcomes that have occurred on Putin’s watch can be interpreted as something other than democratic backsliding. a handful of print journalists. the prospects for renewed democratization are uncertain.

whether Potemkin democracy or “managed democracy” (as Kremlin loyalists euphemistically call it). .298 | Postscript: The 2003 Parliamentary Elections openly challenged democracy as a political practice. and Putin alone. However. gets to decide what kind of political regime Russia should have is a bad sign for the future of Russian democracy. facilitates the future development of meaningful democratic practices or not is an open question. Today we know one thing for sure: that Putin.

” World Politics. no. 3. 1999).” Comparative Political Studies.: Johns Hopkins University Press. 21–28.: Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies. no.” Journal of Democracy. 1986). For more skeptical assessments. D. Md. 43. p. vol. 1950). Socialism and Democracy. 3 (July 1995). no. and Chance. Institute of Peace. 15. 2. Democracy and the Market: Political and Economic Reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America (Cambridge. 6. and Stephen Cohen. Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation (Baltimore. Terry Lynn Karl. 49.” in Paul Drake and Eduardo Silva. Capitalism. “Democracy with Adjectives: Conceptual Innovation in Comparative Research. 1999). Market Bolshevism: The Tragedy of Russia’s Reforms (Washington. “The Emperor’s New Clothes: Continuities of Soviet Political Culture in Contemporary Russia. see Vladimir Brovkin. 9–36. pp. 1159–87. Elections and Democratization in Latin America.Notes Acknowledgments 1.: Cambridge University Press. 269. Adam Przeworski. vol. 34.: U. (New York: Harper & Row. 1 (January–March 1999). and Karl. no. 4. pp.K. vol. U. Joseph Schumpeter. pp. 1991).” Problems of Post-Communism. 6. pp. “Russian Studies Without Russia. 1980–1985 (San Diego. “Imposing Consent? Electoralism Versus Democratization in El Salvador. 72–86. Calif. eds. 5. Collier and Levitsky counted more than 500 subtypes of democracy alone and did not even tackle the various forms of autocracy. pp. 10 (December 2001) pp. vol.” Post-Soviet Affairs. Peter Reddaway and Dmitri Glinsky. Larry Diamond.S. 2 (March–April 1996). Institutions. Chapter 1 1. 299 . “The Hybrid Regimes of Central America. See David Collier and Steven Levitsky. 3 (April 1997). vol. no.. 37–55. An earlier version of this chapter appeared as Michael McFaul.C. 14. 430–51. “Explaining Party Formation and Nonformation in Russia: Actors. 3rd ed. p.

D. 1 (January–March 1994). 10. vol. vol. 1938). “Thinking About Hybrid Regimes. “competitive authoritarianism. and Extortion in Chechnya (New York: Human Rights Watch. no. Przeworski. see Thomas Carothers.300 | Notes to pages 3–7 7. See Russell Hardin. that the reemergence of autocracy is closer today than at any time since the collapse of the Soviet Union.” to describe such regimes. Developing Democracy. 2 (April 1996). “The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism. 167–92. Although sympathetic to the notion of making the category of dictatorship more nuanced.” Journal of Democracy.: Brookings Institution Press. however.C. over time the kind of democracy varies. On forms of autocracy. “The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism”. 61–101. see Larry Diamond.” Journal of Democracy. see Michael McFaul. 9. Few political regimes. 2002. 34–51. 14. 13. 10. 1. and especially Guillermo O’Donnell. Way and Levitsky have identified a new category of regime type. Diamond. Democracy and the Market. On getting stuck between dictatorship and democracy. See Levistky and Way. pp. Transition to Corporate Democracy. and changes in the quality of democracy occur within the set of countries ranked 1. 2000). 16. no. Welcome to Hell: Arbitrary Detention. no. “The End of . 2 (April 2002). “Varieties of Post-Soviet Authoritarian Regimes”.” 17. 51–65. and in part because this label puts Russia in the same category as regimes such as Iran. Developing Democracy. vol. no. unpublished manuscript. 54. which to us seem to be more autocratic than Russia. 18. On the rise of the FSB in Russian state structures. pp. The numbers have been added. and Philip Roeder. 21–35. More recently. That Russia is on the borderline between electoral democracy and competitive authoritarianism is without question. vol. Diamond uses this category to rank most of the political systems in the world. 15. Developing Democracy. p. “The Fourth Wave of Democracy and Dictatorship: Noncooperative Transitions in the Post-communist World. see Timothy Colton and Michael McFaul. 2 (January 2003). Roeder. 2 (January 2002). unpublished manuscript. “Varieties of Post-Soviet Authoritarian Regimes. 12. pp. 10.” World Politics. Anatomy of Revolution (New York: Vintage Press. 11. and Valerie Bunce. Popular Choice and Managed Democracy: The Russian Elections of 1999 and 2000 (Washington. would meet this standard. 11–12. 3–143. Human Rights Watch. no. 8. 212–44. Diamond. including the American political system. 13. 55. vol. pp. 2 (April 1996). 7. On why multiple types of regimes emerged following transitions from communist rule. vol. 13.” Journal of Democracy. 20. 7. The forum for the Journal of Democracy on Russia’s 1993 elections was called “Is Russian Democracy Doomed?” We believe. Crane Brinton. 2003. 2 (April 2002). Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way. see Diamond. vol. see Olga Kryshtanovskaya. pp. pp. 19. no. Rezhim Putina: liberalnaya militokratiya? [Putin’s regime: a liberal militocracy?]. “Rethinking Recent Democratization: Lessons from the Post-communist Experience. On the distinction between liberal and electoral democracy. pp. see the forum on democratic consolidation in the Journal of Democracy. Torture. “Illusions About Consolidation. p. no. For details. Nevertheless. “Thinking About Hybrid Regimes. 2003). Premature predictions of dictatorship in Russia have been plentiful. we do not agree that the Russian regime should be labeled as competitive authoritarianism in part because the Russian system has more democratic features than this label implies. pp. and Diamond. World Politics.” Post-Soviet Affairs.

“Transitions from Communism: State-Centered Approaches. eds. pp. 4 (July–August 2003). Bunce provocatively suggests that Russia’s democratic limits may actually have contributed to democracy’s endurance in Russia.” Journal of Democracy. . no. 201–28. and Philip Roeder. 32.: Cornell University Press. 53. 54–95. ed. Md.” Comparative Political Studies. 1992). “Geographic Diffusion and the Transformation of the Post-Communist World. and Fareed Zakaria. M. N. 37. no. 28. pp. pp. “Rethinking Recent Democratization. 5–21. Krasner makes a similar kind of argument about the institution of sovereignty in the international system in Stephen Krasner. eds.” 25. Developing Democracy. no. Conn.. Institutions and Social Conflict. U. 29. 3 (1998). “The Dynamics of Democratic Erosion. vol.” in Harry Eckstein.: Princeton University Press. For excellent first cuts. 13. vol. 12–21. 1 (January 2002). see Jeffrey Kopstein and David Reilly. 1968).html. p. emphasis added. www. pp.: Princeton University Press. 1 (October 2000). Philippe Schmitter and Terry Karl. 1–37. 2003). Post-communism and the Theory of Democracy (Princeton. This is the definition of an equilibrium. vol. and Timothy J.nns. 24.: Princeton University Press. Samuel Huntington. “Comparative Democratization: Big and Bounded Generalizations. Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies: Themes and Perspectives (Baltimore..ru/Elect-99/chron99/1999/12/23. pp. See Bunce. Elections Without Order: Russia’s Challenge to Vladimir Putin (Cambridge. Diamond. 50. “Constitution Under Fire.: Cambridge University Press.K. 31. 23. no.Y..K. p. Greater scholarly attention must be devoted to explaining these variations. 40–57.” in Peter Volten. See also Larry Diamond. 1997). M. p. pp. and William Reisinger.J. Stephen Hanson. Philip Roeder. Can Democracy Take Root in Post-Soviet Russia? (Lanham. Valerie Bunce.J. 43. p. M. (Cambridge. 1992). 2002. however imperfect. N. O’Donnell has questioned the use of the term consolidation. Political Order and Changing Societies (New Haven. 14. 27. 22.” in Richard Anderson. Bound to Change: Consolidating Democracy in East Central Europe (Boulder.Notes to pages 7–10 | 301 the Transition Paradigm.” In making this argument. December 11. Md. vol. W. 10. Colo. and Valerie Bunce. “The Types of Democracy Emerging in Southern and Eastern Europe and South and Central America..: Johns Hopkins University Press.: Yale University Press. no. Stephen Hanson. Richard Rose and Neil Munro. On why. “Defining Democratic Consolidation. 30. 1999). Marc Plattner. Yun-han Chu. eds.: Roman and Littlefield.” World Politics.” Moscow Times. “Russian Democracy Under Putin. Vladimir Ryzhkov. Frederic Fleron. 21.” Problems of Post-Communism. Norton. Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin (Ithaca. 2001). Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy (Princeton. 6/7 (2000). 26. The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad (New York: W. 2002). 703–34. pp. 2001). and Philip Roeder. and Hung-mao Tien. p. N. 87–211. 20. Guillermo O’Donnell.: Westview Press. vol. “Regional Differences in Democratization: The East Versus the South. Stephen Hanson. Steven Fish.J. “Illusions About Consolidation.. Steven Fish.: Cambridge University Press.” in Richard Anderson. 22. 2001). 1998). Colton and Michael McFaul. 141. U. 14. eds. See Jack Knight. Erik Hoffmann. Steven Fish. N. pp. see chapter 9 of Michael McFaul.” Post-Soviet Affairs. Post-communism and the Theory of Democracy (Princeton.

” American Economic Review. 1 (October 1991). Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions (Baltimore. (Norman. 39. States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France. U. and Frank Longstreth. 113–38. Sven Steinmo. European Revolutions. the rise of postmodernization values in society. 45. On path dependency. see Paul David. For elaboration.” 42. Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe Schmitter. 75. “The Fourth Wave of Democracy and Dictatorship. pp.: Johns Hopkins University Press.. 53.R. 69. unpublished manuscript. Valerie Bunce has noted that scholars of Eastern Europe were much more attuned to theoretical developments in comparative politics. 44. Institutions. see Jack Goldstone. pp. no. Valerie Bunce. Russia.K. pp. no. Institutional Change. one could add postindustrialization. and Jack Goldstone. Samuel Huntington. 1981). For an overview. Roger Markwick. 111–27. 1986). and Economic Performance (Cambridge. 2 (June 2000).” American Review of Political Science. vol. Theda Skocpol. The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. 34. 44.: Cambridge University Press. four volumes (Baltimore. and China (Cambridge. 1986). 1 (Spring 1994).” Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics. Bolshevik. “A Discipline in Transition? From Sovietology to ‘Transitology’.: University of Oklahoma Press. vol. and Laurence Whitehead. see Bunce. and probably several more revolutionary changes. see McFaul. Russia’s integration into the West. Guillermo O’Donnell. 251–68. McFaul’s own case for this lens can be found . The basic mode of transition—confrontational rather than cooperative—is similar to that of these other revolutions. 41. the level of violence in Russia’s latest revolution is much lower than in the other great social revolutions. and Barrington Moore. 1979). vol. Philippe Schmitter with Terry Karl. In addition to this list of three simultaneous transformations. If a university department was going to have only one communist specialist. Theories of Revolution and the Collapse of the U. 1993).: Blackwell Publishers.: Cambridge University Press. or Chinese revolutions. Okla. 1991). 43. 4. 94.K.” World Politics. “The Conceptual Travels of Transitologists and Consolidologists: How Far East Should They Go?” Slavic Review. U. “Clio and the Economics of QWERTY. 173–85. 332–37. vol. yet Soviet experts dominated the field. “Regional Differences in Democratization”. vol. 40. Philippe Schmitter. pp. Kathleen Thelen. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World (Boston: Beacon Press. 2 (1985). 35.K. For discussions on the applicability of transitology in the post-Soviet context.S. U. 1 (Spring 1995). identity changes.” 38.S. 37. pp. Md. American Political Science Review.302 | Notes to pages 10–12 33. no. Notable exceptions include Charles Tilly. it usually opted for an expert on the Soviet Union who then also covered Eastern Europe. 255–76. Douglass North. “Political Dynamics of the Post-Communist Transition. 3 (September 1996). p. In comparative terms. and the Study of Politics. Path Dependency. p. U.: Cambridge University Press. For a critic of this conceptualization for post-communism. “Toward a Fourth Generation of Revolutionary Theory.K. 1492–1992 (Oxford. Structuring Politics: Historical Institutionalism in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge. vol. “Increasing Returns. no. such as the French. Md. “The Fourth Wave of Democracy and Dictatorship. 3 (June 2001). Russell Bova. 139–87. vol. 1996. 54. see McFaul. 36. no. In discussions with McFaul. pp. and Paul Pierson. 1992). no. 1966).: Johns Hopkins University Press. 12. Transitions from Authoritarian Rule. no. “Should Transitologists Be Grounded?” Slavic Review.

Calif. “Modes of Transition in Latin America. pp. Md. “Russia’s Fourth Transition. None of these parties succeeded. Julia Shvets.: Brookings Institution Press. 2. and Profiles (Stanford. p. 2001). The Troubled Birth of Russian Democracy: Political Parties. How flawed is still hotly contested. “Dilemmas of Democratization in Latin America. 1 (October 1990). In the multivolume study of transitions by O’Donnell and Schmitter. 5. 48. Andrei Kounov. Clifford Gaddy and Barry Ickes. no.” Comparative Politics. vol. no. vol. four volumes (Baltimore.” in David Holloway and Norman Naimark. 379. Michael McFaul. Building Capitalism: The Transformation of the Former Soviet Bloc (Cambridge. Conn. Russia’s Virtual Economy (Washington. Empire. 3 (July 1994).” in Michael Klare and Daniel Thomas.: MIT Press. 2002). no. 2 (May 1991). “Democratization Around the Globe: Opportunities and Risks. pp. Lieven. How Russia Became a Market Economy (Washington. 1996). see Anders Åslund. Terry Lynn Karl. D.: Hoover Institution Press. Anders Åslund.” Guillermo O’Donnell. 1995).C. 1993).K. 2002). Empire: The Russian Empire and Its Rivals (New Haven. After Empire: Multiethnic Societies and Nation-Building (Boulder. Velikie revolyutsii: ot Kromvelya do Putina [Great revolutions: from Cromwell to Putin] (Moscow: Vagrius. Programs. p. Dankwart Rustow.: Yale University Press. 51. 3 (April 1988). Reexamining the Soviet Experience: Essays in Honor of Alexander Dallin (Boulder. 128. 1986). Some will quibble that the pre-Soviet period had traditions and organizations to resurrect.: Brookings Institution Press. Colo. See Dominic Lieven. D. vol. On the dearth of democratic civil society in Russia at the beginning of the transition from communist rule. The New Political Economy of Russia (Cambridge.” p. and Erik Berglof. 196–222. For an accounting.” Comparative Politics.: Westview Press. all case studies examined “had some of these rules and procedures [of democracy] in the past. 55. 49. O’Donnell and Schmitter. . 352. Transitions from Authoritarian Rule. Terry Lynn Karl and Philippe Schmitter. 46. 9. pp. see Michael McFaul and Sergei Markov. vol. 23. 1–22. eds.” World Politics. 209. 40. pp. The most comprehensive use of the analogy to help explain post-communist Russia is Irina Staradubrovskaya and Vladimir Mau. For recent assessments. 52.C. 59. 1994). pp. “Paradigm Lost: Dependence to Democracy. 57. but we see few signs of resurrection from this period. vol. “Russian Centrism and Revolutionary Transitions. eds. Colo.: Cambridge University Press. World Security (New York: St Martin’s Press. 43–62.. Roeder. 2003). 58. 269–84. vol..” Post-Soviet Affairs. Steven Fish.. 2 (April 1970). Southern and Eastern Europe. 47. no. 167–96. U.” Journal of Democracy. “Transitions from Communism. 1997). Terry Lynn Karl and Philippe Schmitter. and Karen Barkey and Mark Von Hagen. 4 (July–September 1993).Notes to pages 12–16 | 303 in his “Revolutionary Transformations in Comparative Perspective: Defining a PostCommunist Research Agenda. no. pp. 8. p. no. 50. Philippe Schmitter. p.” International Social Science Journal. 54. 31–42. and Laurence Whitehead. eds. 72. 2000). 56. see M. Mass. and Ksenia Yudaeva. Daniel Levine.: Westview Press. “Transition to Democracy.: Johns Hopkins University Press. 53. Some did attempt to invoke prerevolutionary parties such as the Cadets as a way to mobilize new party cadres.

Fleron. “Political Culture. 1996). On Russia’s cultural proclivities for autocratic rulers. Md. 71. and the Architecture of the New Russian Democracy. Political Culture and Soviet Politics (New York: St. Hoffmann. 1996). and Path Dependency During Transitions: Cases from Russia. Levine. Constitutionalism. “State Power. Uncertainty. See Nicolai Petro. and the review of these debates in Russell Bova. 10. Steven Fish. Harry Eckstein.” in Eckstein. Adam Przeworski and Fernando Limongi.. 2 (January 1995). Capitalist Development and Democracy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 73. Martin’s Press. p. see Dietrich Rueschemeyer. Liberalism. vol. pp. see Michael McFaul.: MIT Press. 64. and Reisinger. Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan provide a comprehensive discussion of the relationship between state power and democracy in Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe. For details. 418. Stephens. Perspectives on Post-communism (New York: Council on Foreign . “Lessons for the ‘Third Wave’. 46.” World Politics. This argument is elaborated in McFaul. and Democracy (Oxford.: Princeton University Press.K. pp. see Stephen White. and John D.” World Politics. 66. 1979). “Constitutional Frameworks and Democratic Consolidation. Andrei Shleifer and Daniel Treisman. Authority Patterns. 1994). “The Dynamics of Democratic Erosion. Democracy and the Market. 63. 1999). and Clifford Gaddy. 1 (January 1997).: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 61. 264. Fleron.C. 67. 1995). On the negative consequences of presidentialism for democracy in the post-communist world more generally. no. 49. Mass.: Johns Hopkins University Press. Russia’s Unfinished Revolution. Institutional Change. 1–22. South America. “Institutional Design. vol. N. 47.” World Politics. 70. although many estimate the actual number to be much higher. vol. ed. An official investigation reported that 147 people died in the conflict. A review of Russian cultural history also reveals proto-democratic institutional arrangements. M. 1 (March 1999). U.” Fish’s finding confirms earlier arguments about the perils of presidentialism for new democracies in Alfred Stepan and Cindy Skach. See Hardin’s review and then rejection of this approach in Russell Hardin. “Paradigm Lost. and Reisinger. 392. and Juan Linz and Arturo Valenzuela. 68. “Modernization: Theories and Facts. and the Politics of Privatization in Russia. see Fish. Evelyn Huber Stevens. Michael McFaul. David Hoffman. On the positive role of labor in the process of democratization in Western Europe. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy.: Harvard University Press. The Rebirth of Russian Democracy: An Interpretation of Political Culture (Cambridge. Democracy from Scratch: Opposition and Regime in the New Russian Revolution (Princeton. 1992). no.304 | Notes to pages 16–19 60. Can Democracy Take Root in Post-Soviet Russia? p. 1995).: Oxford University Press. The Failure of Presidential Democracy (Baltimore. 155–83. 2000). 210–43.J. pp. 1 (October 1993). Mass. no. 27–52. Przeworski. Hoffmann. The Price of the Past: Russia’s Struggle with the Legacy of a Militarized Economy (Washington. Can Democracy Take Root in Post-Soviet Russia? 69. The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia (New York: Public Affairs. vol. 62. Without a Map: Political Tactics and Economic Reform in Russia (Cambridge.: Brookings Institution Press. 74. pp. 72. no.” Constitutional Political Economy.” p. 90. Moore. Md. and Post-Communist Europe (Baltimore. “Cultural Legacies or State Collapse?” in Michael Mandelbaum. 75. See also Stephen Holmes.” in Eckstein. D. 2002). 65.

D.” World Politics. On the divides between the center and regions. 2003). The Russian Congress altered the Russian Constitution (the amended Soviet Constitution of 1977) to include this phrase. Russia After the Fall (Washington. thereby de jure subordinating the office of the president to the Congress. 13. “The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism. pp. “Thinking About Hybrid Regimes. Yeltsin’s Russia (Washington. On the role of charismatic leaders in such settings. Calif. (Berkeley. vol. 2000). 1996). pp. ed.” Journal of Democracy. The definitive biography of this important figure in Russian history is Leon Aron. Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life (New York: St. pp. “Fragmentation of Russia. . “What Russia Teaches Us Now. 1999). Timothy Frye and Andrei Shleifer tell a parallel story about an unconstrained Russian state preying on the economy in “The Invisible Hand and the Grabbing Hand. no. 51–65. Theda Skocpol. vol. On the distinctions. 2002. D. and Daniel Kaufmann. On the relationship between Yeltsin the individual and Russian democracy. no. On the differences between politically closed authoritarianism and competitive authoritarianism.” Journal of Democracy.: University of California Press. vol. Rezhim Putina: liberalnaya militokratiya? [Putin’s regime: a liberal militocracy?]. Putin’s Russia (Washington. pp. 83. 2. 84.C. Sharpe. 33 (July–August 1997). in Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich. no. Geraint Jones. 87. 13.C. “Social Revolutions and Mass Military Mobilization. 2 (April 2002).” World Politics.. 82. pp.Y.Notes to pages 19–23 | 305 Relations. unpublished manuscript. see Max Weber. 78.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Martin’s Press.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Olga Kryshtanovskaya. 77. 147–68. “The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism. 21–35.: University of Michigan Press. Larry Diamond. see also Lilia Shevtsova. see Larry Diamond.” American Economic Review. After the Deluge: Regional Crises and Political Consolidation in Russia (Ann Arbor. and Levitsky and Way. “Democracy with Adjectives: Conceptual Innovation in Comparative Research. pp. Mich. 2002). N. 49.” Chapter 2 1. David Collier and Steven Levitsky. 2 (January 1988). 79. pp. See also Joel Hellman. 2 (May 1997). Stephen Holmes. 2 (April 2002). see Daniel Treisman. no. no. see Diamond. and Thomas E.C. 3 (April 1997).” American Prospect. The first comprehensive evaluation of the man and his regime is Lilia Shevtsova. “Thinking About Hybrid Regimes”. 81. unpublished manuscript. Md. Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation (Baltimore.: Johns Hopkins University Press. Graham.: M. Presidential Power in Russia (Armonk. Economy and Society. Seize the State. see Eugene Huskey. eds. 1999). 30–39. no. 430–51. On divisions within the federal government. 76.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. vol. 354–58. 80. vol. 1999). 40. Seize the Day: An Empirical Analysis of State Capture and Corruption in Transition Economies. and Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way. 2000. D. 1978). E. pp. 39–61. vol.” in Andrew Kuchins. 1999). 22–76.

Freedom House scored Russia as a partly free democracy. 13. “Russia’s Party System: Is Russian Federalism Viable?” Post-Soviet Affairs. 6. Socialism. Gorbachev opted for the nomination of exactly 100 candidates to ensure that the party’s leadership received seats in the Congress. Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe Schmitter. 2001). 195–217. Capitalism. V. 3 (October–December 1996). Institute of Peace. 3. pp. giving the regime a score of 3 on a scale of 1 to 7 (with 1 being the most democratic and 7 the least democratic) for political rights and 4 for civil liberties. Others have argued that Russia never was an electoral democracy. 8 (August 1989). p. 27. Tentative Conclusions. Md. See also Adam Przeworski. 12.” Soviet Geography. President Boris Yeltsin moved up the date of the presidential election by three months. Diamond categorizes Russia as a competitive authoritarian regime.: Johns Hopkins University Press. 8.. and Lawrence Whitehead. and N.: Johns Hopkins University Press. vol. 1990). O’Donnell and Schmitter.: Hoover Institution Press. 4.” p. no. 3 (Baltimore. Md. Berezkin. In 1996–1997. no. pp. Khozhdenie vo vlast [Voyage to power] (Moscow: Novosti. Joseph Schumpeter. 69. 47–63. pp.C. 7. Michael McFaul. eds. M. and Democracy. and Leonid Smirnyagin. 269. Tentative Conclusions. 14. 337–63. however. no.: U. 421. On why Russia may nonetheless still have too few elections. pp. D. including the famous battle for Andrei Sakharov’s election within the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Some of these social organizations’ seats were contested internally. eds. He did not break the law in doing so. 21. 3 (Fall 1993). “The Geography of the 1989 Elections of Peoples Deputies of the USSR. no. Calif. See Diamond. was not competitive. see Peter Ordeshook. After considering competitive elections within the party.” in Guillermo O’Donnell. 607–34.. Petrov. 1997). Kolosov. 1991). See Peter Reddaway and Dmitri Glinski. 2nd ed. 11. The Tragedy of Russia’s Reforms: Market Bolshevism Against Democracy (Washington.” East European Politics and Societies. p.S. 5. Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Comparative Perspectives. “Bringing Society Back into Democratic Transition Theory After 1989: Pact Making and Regime Collapse. Anatoly Sobchak. The CPSU list. O’Donnell and Schmitter. p. 40. and Vladimir Kolosov. pp. vol. Transition from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions About Uncertain Democracies. (New York: Harper. 74–75. vol. Smirnyagin. Daniel Friedman. See A. 7. “Transition to Democracy: Toward a Dynamic Model. p. By resigning in December 1999. See Freedom House. Russia’s 1996 Presidential Election: The End of Polarized Politics (Stanford. vol. L. vol.” Comparative Politics. . Philippe Schmitter. 1996–1997 (New York: Transaction Books. even if he did violate the spirit of competitive elections by giving his chosen successor an unfair advantage. 15. Tsena svobody [The price of freedom] (Moscow: Rossika/Zevs. Nikolai Petrov. vol. 9. 1993). 12. 1947). 1986). Vesna 89: geografiya i anatomiya parlamentskikh vyborov [Spring of 89: a geography and anatomy of the parliamentary elections] (Moscow: Progress. 1997).306 | Notes to pages 23–28 2. See Georgy Shakhnazarov. “Thinking About Hybrid Regimes. 2. 3 (April 1970). p. 1986). Pavlovskaya. Freedom in the World: Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties. pp. 4 (Baltimore. Dankwart Rustow. 30. “Problems in the Study of Transition to Democracy. 482–512. 10.

24. eds. see Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov. meaning that the vote could not be considered free and fair. compared with 16. 29. Boris Yeltsin: From Bolshevik to Democrat (New York: Dutton. pp. “Institutional Design. 1991).: Princeton University Press. eds. 177–78. 1 (March 1999). Jones. See M. Steven Fish. The Federalist Papers and the New Institutionalism (New York: Agathon Press. Valerii Zhuravlev. 30. and Geoffrey Hosking. 11–31. The Awakening of the Soviet Union (Cambridge. 23. no. Quoted in John Morrison. and Ian McAllister. Uncertainty. pp. “Boris Yeltsin. 253. T..3 percent of the popular vote. kopromiss. SI-MAR. Richard Rose. Mikhail Gorshkov. 27. 1 (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. How Russia Votes (Chatham.” Constitutional Political Economy.8 percent for Vladimir Zhirinovsky. 1991). Chechnya-Ingushetia. and by rough estimates pro-Yeltsin forces would fail in three-quarters of the regions. Struggle] (Moscow: Terra. p. Yeltsin captured 57. see Bruce Cain and W. 1998). 1994). 18. Chelyabinskaya Oblast. p. Yeltsin-Khasbulatov: edinstvo. See Michael Urban. 25. Stephen White.” Soviet Studies.: Harvard University Press. In all but one case opposition candidates won and were later appointed by Yeltsin.. Compromise. Yeltsin ini- . 1995). Petersburg played a role as well. Vitaly Vorotnikov. The number of deputies who identified with Democratic Russia changed over time. 29. For details.Notes to pages 29–36 | 307 16.. see Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov. pp. Democracy from Scratch: Opposition and Regime in the New Russian Revolution (Princeton.. 21.. see Michael McFaul. For details.8 percent for Nikolai Ryzhkov and a surprising 7. which lasted until 1996. eds. 187–208. 17.J. eds. pp. For a similar explanation of the American Constitution. p. In eight regions appointed governors met strong opposition from legislatures and gubernatorial elections took place in April 1993. 27–52.: Chatham House Publishers.” in Bernard Grofman and Donald Wittman. vol. Tatarstan. 20. Politicheskii al’manakh Rossii 1995 [A political almanac of Russia 1995]. Mass. 22. 1997). Thus Yeltsin asked the Congress to establish a one-year moratorium on elections for regional heads (except in ethnic republics). All the republics except Belarus and Kazakhstan eliminated these social lists. 44. depending on the nature of the crisis. 1995). 10. “Madison’s Theory of Representation. vol. Sharp conflicts between legislatures and elected mayors in Moscow and St. no. 238. vol. The major reason why Yeltsin did not adopt the idea of new elections was because regional electoral commissions remained under the control of Soviet communist elites. but had no real meaning. 1989). N. A bylo eto tak: iz dnevnika chlena Politburo TsK KPSS [And that’s how it was: from the diary of a CPSU central committee politburo member] (Moscow: Veterans of Publishing Union. bor’ba [Yeltsin-Khasbulatov: Unity. and Path Dependency During Transitions: Cases from Russia. 26. Elections had occurred throughout most of Soviet history. and the Campaign for the Russian Presidency. Politicheskii al’manakh Rossii 1995 [A political almanac of Russia 1995] (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. and Tuva did not participate in the elections. Several other republics refused to hold the referendum vote. 19. 28. 1997). Democratic Russia.J. 2 (February 1992). Leonid Dobrohotov et al. In one of these regions. N. For more details on the 1993 referendum.

and Path Dependency During Transitions. 50 percent plus one then had to support the referendum. vol. “Institutional Design. 2001). 41.: Brookings Institution Press. 1995). “A Rayon-Level Analysis of the Russian Election and Constitution Plebiscite of December 1993. 1999). ogranichennaya falsifikatsiyami: vybory i referendumy v Rossii v 1991–1993 gg. 50 percent plus one of all eligible voters had to participate. Jerry Hough. Sharpe. 1998). Aleksandr Sobyanin and Vladislav Sukhovolsky.Y.: M. “Who Stole What in Russia’s December 1993 Elections. Growing Pains.” in Colton and Hough. The new law did incorporate a few changes. 459–75. eds. It stipulated that candidates running in single-mandate districts could specify their party affiliation on the ballot. At one point in his negotiations with the Russian Congress. and Mikhail Filippov and Peter Ordeshook. but the concept of electing the upper chamber did not make it into the constitution. “Institutional Rules and Party Formation. was the principal author of the electoral decree and the subsequent law. and Ralph Clem and Peter Craumer. 32. After October 1993. 34. 39. Political Parties. see Michael McFaul. On why this particular mixed electoral system was adopted. 52–53. Viktor Sheinis. they took place anyway. 1995. For details.C. 37. the upper chamber of parliament. pp. a new law was passed in 2002 that would raise the threshold of the party list ballot to 7 percent for the 2007 parliamentary elections. On the consequences of these electoral rules. had to be elected. 40. The actual law governing referenda in place at that time and as used during the April 1993 referendum stated that support had to exceed 50 percent of all registered voters for the constitutional provision to be accepted. 33. 8 (October 1993). Yeltsin called the vote on the constitution in his decree an all-nation vote.” Demokratizatsiya. see chapter 4 in this volume and Eugene Huskey. eds. 38. For detailed analysis of the 1993 elections. Presidential Power in Russia (Armonk.” Post-Soviet Geography. E. Decree Number 1400 did not specify that the Federation Council.. see Robert Moser.308 | Notes to pages 36–40 tially did not allow elections. D.. see Timothy Colton and Jerry Hough.: University of Pittsburgh Press. Uncertainty. 36–52. 1 (Winter 1997). Growing Pains: Russian Democracy and the Election of 1993 (Washington. To lower this high threshold. pp. discussion of early presidential elections ended. N. For a discussion of these issues. however.” One of the authors of this book. see also Mikhail Myagkov and Aleksander Sobyanin. and Representation in Russia (Pittsburgh. It also stated that parliamentary elections and presidential elections could not occur simultaneously. He did not recognize the results and left his appointee to govern. 34. A later decree made this specification. pp. no. Unexpected Outcomes: Electoral Systems. 35. Pa. no. This meant that Yeltsin did not have to associate himself with any one electoral bloc competing in the parlia- .” working paper (Pasadena: California Institute of Technology). “Irregularities in the 1993 Russian Elections. Demokratiya. This is a far smaller number than 50 percent of all eligible voters. [A democracy constrained by falsification: elections and referenda in Russia from 1991 to 1993] (Moscow: Evraziia. For this kind of vote to be valid. vol. Of those participating. Yeltsin had agreed to move up the date of the presidential election to 1994. As discussed in chapter 5. 5. 31. 36.

K.Y. see Matthew Shugart and John Carey. no. Boris Yeltsin. For more details see McFaul and Petrov. eds. 2000). and Nikita Tyukov. N. p. 1998).: Cambridge University Press. Orttung. and the Choice of an Electoral System: The Russian Parliamentary Election Law. pp. “Sovet federatsii i predstavitelstvo interesov regionov v tsentre.” Center for Strategic and International Studies Program On New Approaches to Russian Security policy memorandum no.” [The federation council and the representation of regional interests in the center] in Regiony Rossii v 1998 godu [Russia’s regions in 1998] (Moscow: Gendalf. E. Yabloko.org/ruseura/PONARS/policymemos/ pm_0096. Daniel Treisman and Vladimir Gimpelson. Stephen White. with an additional 7 percent of the vote divided between small reformist parties. U. 4 (1996). 49. “The Federation Council and Representation of Regional Interests. and Zhirinovsky’s comparatively poorer showing meant that the total votes cast for opposition parties had changed only marginally in two years. Yavlinsky’s Yabloko. see McFaul and Petrov. 50. 1997). see Michael McFaul. David Hoffman. pp. see Michael McFaul.Notes to pages 41–45 | 309 mentary vote. and Matthew Wyman.K. . no. Presidents and Assemblies (Cambridge.C. 2 (April 2001). 256–57. 42. Politicheskii al’manakh Rossii 1997 [A political almanac of Russia 1997]. vol. and Nikolai Petrov. and the now defunct Russian Movement for Democratic Reforms combined to win 28 percent of the popular vote. The Agrarians performed so poorly that they failed to cross the 5 percent threshold needed to win proportional representation seats. see Thomas Remington and Steven Smith. 96. 1992). The combination of a communist surge. On these debates. 180–222.” British Journal of Political Science. Gaidar’s Russia’s Choice. 1253–79. “Political Business Cycles and Russian Elections. The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia (New York: Public Affairs. eds. 31. The same stability of voter attitudes persisted on the other side of the ledger. Sharpe. pp. or the Manipulation of the ‘Chudar’. and Russia’s Choice together collected 21 percent of the vote.” American Journal of Political Science. On the importance of electoral cycles. see Nikolai Petrov. See Alexei Mukhin. 1996).: Hoover Institution Press. 225–46. The Russian 1996 Presidential Election: The End of Polarized Politics (Stanford. D. 44. 48. Elections and Voters in Post-Communist Russia (Cheltenham. 52. For more details on the evolution and functioning of the Federation Council. Russia Between Elections: What the 1995 Parliamentary Elections Really Mean (Washington. vol. 25. pp. 1997). Chernomyrdin’s Our Home Is Russia. 2002). 192–93. an Agrarian Party collapse. The Russian Parliamentary Elections of 1995 (Armonk. Midnight Diaries (New York: Public Affairs. 43..csis. For more on apportionment and districting. chapter 9. When framed through a bipolar lens. and Sarah Oates. pp. available at www. the 1995 vote actually appeared similar to previous elections.. U. In 1993.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 46. Institutional Context.: M. 47. Laura Belin and Robert W. Calif. 40. In 1995. 1999). Andrei Zapeklyi. 51. For detailed accounts of the 1995 vote.: Edward Elgar. “Political Goals. Politicheskii al’manakh Rossii 1997 [A political almanac of Russia 1997]. For details. 1999. 1996). Rossiya: presidentskaya kampaniya—1996 [Russia: the presidential campaign—1996] (Moscow: Service of Political Information and Consultation-Center. 45.

: Brookings Institution Press. and Andrei Ryabov. on . Nikolai Petrov.” Post-Soviet Geography and Economics. at which point it increased even further to 11. the former local Federal Security Service chief. For details on Unity’s creation and the contest as a whole.4. 507–49.3 in the 1990 elections and was approximately the same until the 1995 Duma elections. see Ilya Shablinsky. The 1999 Duma elections showed a slight decrease in the number of candidates to 10. vol. pp. Rossiya v izbiratelnom tsykle 1999–2000 godov [Russia in the 1999–2000 electoral cycle] (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. 4 (Moscow: Constitutional Commission. 1989–1995 [Limits of power: the struggle over Russian constitutional reform. 57. 2. We are grateful to Jeremy Pope for providing these data. The regional executive selects the second Federation Council representative. 60.. Single-district races seem to be getting less competitive. The formula for selecting these representatives is complex. eds. Colton and Michael McFaul. A look at winners’ margins. Timothy J. 2000). If competitiveness is measured as the average number of candidates per seat. one of its representatives to the Federation Council was Sergei Pugachev. 58. Seleznov lost this election. pp. 2 (April–June 2002). for whom Putin had worked for five years. “Are Russians Undemocratic?” Post-Soviet Affairs. vol. 1997. Colton and Michael McFaul. is a good example. Tuva. see Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov. 1989–1995]. It was distributed with the newspaper of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet’s Presidium. “Russian Electoral Politics After Transition: Regional and National Assessments. Predeli vlasti: bor’ba za rossiiskuyu konstitutsionnuyu reformu. For details. For comprehensive historical analysis. Chapter 3 1. 61. 38. The Constitutional Commission published the full text of the first version of the draft constitution. Initially. The regional assembly can veto the governor’s nominee with a two-thirds majority. see Michael McFaul. no. 9 (November 1997). When Seleznov ran for governor of Moscow Oblast in December 1999. 55. Petersburg mayor. the widow of the former St. After elections to the local parliament in mid-2002. Rossiya. a small southern Siberian republic. 56. 54. Popular Choice and Managed Democracy: The Russian Elections of 1999 and 2000 (Washington. reveals a different picture. Representatives serve at the pleasure of those who select them. 55–120. For more details. The speaker of the regional assembly selects one Federation Council representative who is confirmed by the assembly as a whole. 18. 1990). pp. however. 553–56. Petersburg close to Putin’s team. D. dissertation (Moscow: Center for Constitutional Study of the Moscow Public Science Foundation). while the other was an ethnic Tuvinian. no.D. 2003). 59. the latter was replaced by Lyudmila Narusova.7. and in the weekly newspaper Argumenty i fakty.C. In every successive Duma election this margin has increased by a quarter. Anatoly Sobchak. a banker from St. see Timothy J. Ph. Putin endorsed his candidacy in the second round. in which he faced an opponent from OVR. 91–121. no. pp.310 | Notes to pages 45–57 53. then it reached a relatively high level of 6. See Konstitutsionnyi vestnik [Constitutional herald].

18. I (Moscow. no. 13. materialy. V. 15. 469. 19. pp. p. 12–20. osnovnye polozheniya kotorogo odobreny shestym S’ezdom narodnykh deputatov Rossiiskoi federatsii. and Konstitutsionnyi vestnik [Constitutional herald]. vol. 12. materialy. 6. no. Shestoi s’ezd narodnykh deputatov RSFSR: stenograficheskii otchot [The sixth congress of the people’s deputies of the RSFSR: a stenographic report] (Moscow. D. pp. Sovetskaya Rossiya [Soviet Russia]. prinyatykh pervym—shestym s’ezdami narodnykh deputatov Rossiiskoi federatsii [Collection of documents ratified by the sixth congress of the people’s deputies of the Russian federation]. U. III (Moscow. Konstitutsionnyi vestnik [Constitutional herald]. 1993]. and Izbiratel’nyi zakon: Materialy k obsuzhdeniyu [Electoral law: materials for discussion]. pp. 14. 6. 20. vol. pp. materials. 5. materials. Konstitutsionnoe soveshchanie: stenogramma. 17.Notes to pages 58–65 | 311 November 29. and the reworked draft of the constitution of the Russian federation. 16. 10. Shestoi s’ezd narodnykh deputatov RSFSR: stenograficheskii otchot [The sixth congress of the people’s deputies of the RSFSR: a stenographic report]. 6–94. 1989). 67–137. 1992). pp. 11–66. 1997). p. 4. 8. pp. G Murrel. 101. p. 163–64. 1990. dokumenty [Constitutional deliberation: stenography. 9. (Moscow. vol. “Zakon Rossiiskoi federatsii ‘ob izmeneniyakh i dopolneniyakh konstitutsii (osnovnogo zakona) Rossiiskoi federatsii—Rossii’—proekt. 17. pp.K. vol. . 4.: Academic Press.” [“Law of the Russian federation ‘on changes and amendments to the constitution (fundamental law) of the Russian federation—Russia’— a draft”] August 11. largely approved by the sixth congress of the people’s deputies of the Russian Federation. dokumenty [Constitutional deliberation: stenography. Konstitutsionnoe soveshchanie: stenogramma. Konstitutsionnyi vestnik [Constitutional herald]. (Moscow: Republic. 15. 1993). p. Russia’s Transition to Democracy (Sussex. Konstitutsiya (osnovnoi zakon) Rossiiskoi sovetskoi federativnoi sotsialisticheskoi respubliki [Constitution (fundamental law) of the Russian soviet federative socialist republic] (Moscow. 361. materialy. 16. 31. dokumenty [Constitutional deliberation: stenography. Proekt konstitutsii RF po sostayniyu na 12 iyulya 1993 [A draft of the constitution of the RF as of July 12. p. Pyatiy s’ezd narodnykh deputatov RSFSR: stenograficheskii otchot [The fifth congress of the people’s deputies of the RSFSR: a stenographic report]. pp. and vol. pp. no. 8. 451–90. 7. Chetvortiy s’ezd narodnykh deputatov RSFSR: stenograficheskii otchot [The fourth congress of the people’s deputies of the RSFSR: a stenographic report]. documents]. Sbornik dokumentov. 1993). See Sravnitel’naya tablitsa: ‘Proekt konstitutsii Rossiiskoi federatsii. materials. vol. 1992). pp. p. Supreme Soviet Press. 1990. 1995). 4. 1–3. 4–52. 2. 11. 51. G. Proekt konstitutsii RF po sostayniyu na 12 iyulya 1993 [A draft of the constitution of the RF as of July 12. 264–67. 1992). 81–87. 1990. 1993]. November 13. vol. vol. 1990. III (Moscow. 5. 391–92. 1993. largely approved by the constitutional commission”]. pp. 1990. pp. 3. i dorabotannyi proekt konstitutsii Rossiiskoi federatsii. I. Konstitutsionnoe soveshchanie: stenogramma. I. 1990. pp. no. (Moscow. 389–91. pp. 88–89. 1992). documents]. documents]. 17 (Moscow. From the author’s archive. 5. 1991). Konstitutsionnyi vestnik [Constitutional herald]. 132–146. odobrennyi v osnovnom konstitutsionnoi kommissiei’ [A comparative table: “A draft of the constitution of the Russian federation.

June 9. Market Bolshevism Against Democracy (Washington. Article 3 of the 1993 constitution. Hahn. 20 (Washington. 61. 3.: International Institute for Strategic Studies. 2001. materials. 29 aprelya–10 noyabrya 1993 [A draft of the constitution of the RF: constitutional deliberation: stenography. and Obshchaya gazeta. paragraph 3. and Article 83. pp. D. 39.C. .: American University Press. documents. Remington. 2001). Thomas F. This idea was expressed by Yevgeny Primakov in Izvestiya. however provocative or uninformed its conclusions may be. January 31–February 6. 2000. February 24–March 1. 222. 32. 1950). Politics in Russia (New York: Longman. “Putin’s ‘Federal Revolution’: Administrative Versus Judicial Methods of Federal Reform.312 | Notes to pages 65–77 21. 60–67. George R. 30. August 12. p. 37. pp. D. in Nezavisimaya gazeta. 21. Reddaway and Glinski. vol. Toward a Russia of Regions. Martin Nicholson.C. 40. 25. Article 5 of the 1993 constitution. 44.: United States Institute of Peace. 22. In July the deputies gathered primarily to elect the chair of the Supreme Soviet and the October Congress session was officially regarded as a continuation of the July Congress.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). 1993]. Article 125 of the 1993 constitution. Timothy J.” East European Constitutional Review. The amendment was introduced into article 95. 1999). Article 93 of the 1993 constitution. no. p. See Article 121. 42. part II. 46. “Are Russians Undemocratic?” working paper no. 1999). 1999). 28. paragraph 2 of the 1993 constitution. p. 127. 38. 1995). 36. 33. 27. 3–4. Robert E. 330 (Oxford. D. 41. 24. Remington. 10. 174. “Sudebnaya kontrreforma: komu vygodno ushchemlenie nezavisimosti i neprikosnovennosti sudei?” [Judicial counterreform: who gains from limiting the independence and untouchability of judges?] Nezavisimaya gazeta. Izvestiya. and by Sergei Samoilov. 34. of the 1993 constitution. April 29 to November 10. vol. Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History (New York: Harper. Urban. The CPRF in Documents (1992–1999) (Moscow: ITRK Press. p. 1993). 42. p. The Tragedy of Russia’s Reforms. 633. Gordon M. pp. Sherwood. p. Yuri Sidorenko. dokumenty. Article 80. 35. 633. U. Peter Reddaway and Dmitri Glinski.K. Colton and Michael McFaul. p. Politics in Russia. As early as 2002 it rushed to inform the president of its opinion about the activities of the Hague Court in connection with the Slobodan Milosevic trial and demanded reprisals against the Vatican after it elevated the level of its representation in Russia. pp. 23. a high-ranking official in the presidential administration. Adelphi Paper no. 43. May 16. materialy. 1 (Winter 2001).6 of the 1993 constitution on the immediate cessation of the president’s authority in relation to violations of constitutional norms. 2000. Obshchaya gazeta. The Third State Duma cannot refrain from commenting on foreign political developments. 31. August 2.C. End of Empire: The Demise of the Soviet Union (Washington. The Tragedy of Russia’s Reforms. 20 (Moscow: Judicial Literature. See Proekt konstitutsii Rossiiskoi federatsii: konstitutsionnoe soveshchanie: stenogrammy. 2002. 102. 2002. 26. 2000. Article 80. 29. 2000. 1.

leaving its two seats vacant. These numbers do not include Chechnya. Salmin. Author’s archive. 8. 3. For more details. Lilia Shevtsova. p. 20. According to a national poll of 1.ru. p. 7–19. Chapter 4 1.wciom. p. Andrei Melvil. 1999). Principi politiki: klassicheskiy Francuzskiy liberalizm [Principles of politics: classical French liberalism] (Moscow: Russian Political Encyclopedia. Formirovaniye partiynopoliticheskoy sistemi v Rossii [Formation of a political party system in Russia] (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. no. See. 13. Demokraticheskie tranziti: teoretiko-metodologicheskie i prikladnie aspekti [Democratic transits: theoretical-methodological and applied aspects] (Moscow: Moscow Public Science Foundation.fom. eds. 1998). 47. According to Ryzhkov’s calculations. Vladimir A. in 1994 the president adopted ninety-five decrees having the force of law. 7–32. 7. pp. 35–44. For the Public Opinion Foundation survey. 12. Though as discussed in chapter 2. it accepted only fifty-one. See Ryzhkov. 1 (1996). Chechnya did not participate in the 1993 elections. Chetvertaya respublika [The fourth republic] (Moscow: Ad Marginem. Polis. see Michael McFaul and Andrei Ryabov. . 2000). 38. 1998).Notes to pages 79–93 | 313 45. 4. but Yeltsin put all his weight behind its passage. see Andrei Ryabov.ru. 2000). 1993). 63. 9. Chetvertaya respublika [The fourth republic] pp. Aleksei M. 190–193. and in 1998 only seven. The results were published on the Internet at www. 2001. p.600 people conducted by the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research from January 21–24. Holding the referendum at the same time as the elections for the Duma and the Federation Council also created incentives for all political groups to participate in the 1993 vote and thereby assure a voter turnout high enough to validate the vote. p. Prezidentstvo v kontekste rossiyskoi transformatsii: Rossiya politicheskaya [The presidency in the context of Russian transformation: political Russia] (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. “O nekotorikh problemakh samoopredeleniya i vzaimodeystviya ispolnitelnoy i zakonodatelnoy vlastey v Rossiyskoy federatsii” [On certain problems of selfawareness and the interaction of executive and legislative power in the Russian federation]. pp. 20. Rezhim Borisa Yeltsina [Boris Yeltsin’s regime] (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center and Russian Political Encyclopedia. 48. 2. in 1995. Theoretically. 46. whether the necessary 50 percent of eligible voters actually participated is still not clear. Filosofiya vlasti [The philosophy of power] (Moscow: Moscow State University Press. Ryzhkov. Viktor Kuvaldin. 146. At the same time.. For details. p. 11. while the Duma accepted all ninety-five presidential decrees in 1994. Chetvertaya respublika [The fourth republic]. see Ryzhkov. 5. 1999). the people could have rejected the constitution in the December 1993 referendum. see www. 6. 10. Meanwhile the State Duma adopted only forty bills. Benjamin Constant. for example. For details. pp.

Vladimir Kadatsky. 18. 45. 2002). This is a novel method of measuring party development. 80–96. vol. Sharp. Chetvertaya respublika [The fourth republic]. Georgy Satarov. Mikhail Krasnov. see Larry Diamond and Richard Gunther. 422–23. 123. 1023–43. vol. “After the Break-Up: Institutional Design in Transitional States. Others studies that have highlighted the role of strategic actors in the formation of electoral laws include Pauline Jones Luong. “The Evolution of Left and Right in Post-Soviet Russia. 35. pp. Political Parties and Democracy (Baltimore. Vyacheslav Kostikov. pp. 48–55. no. 33. 15. Eugene Huskey. pp. 17. For other approaches for measuring party development. Formirovaniye partiyno-politicheskoy sistemi v Rossii [Formation of a political party system in Russia]. Chapter 5 1. Alexander Ilyin. p. 2000). vol. Senate. 2. the upper chamber of the parliament was formed on the basis of direct elections. p. “‘Partiya vlasti’ v politicheskoy sisteme sovremennoy Rossii” [The party of power in contemporary Russia’s political system]. 1999). 50. 20. 1995). Geoffrey Evans and Stephen Whitefield.” Journal of Democracy. and Regina Smyth. Alexander Livshits. vol. Satarov. Md. eds. 6 (September 1998). 4.” Europe-Asia Studies. “The Emergence of Mass Partisanship in Russia. 16. According to these transitional articles. Vladimir Gelman. 564–92. Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross-National Perspectives (New York: Free Press. N. and A. Lipset and Stein Rokkan. “The Indispensability of Parties. and John Aldrich. 1 (January 2001). 2000). no. eds. Institutional Context. 3 (2002). 5. 2003. in McFaul and Ryabov. et.: M.” American Journal of Political Science. Tiazhelie zvezdi [Heavy stars] (Moscow: War and Peace Press. 3.. al.314 | Notes to pages 93–107 14. 337–66. Epokha Yeltsina. 387. Presidential Power in Russia (Armonk. which were valid from 1993 to 1995. 2001). pp.” Comparative Political Studies. 19. 558–63. and Thomas Remington and Steve Smith. Sergei Ryzhenkov. every subject of the federation was represented by two deputies. Yury Baturin.: Johns Hopkins University Press. “Rulers and Rules: Reassessing the Influence of Regime Type on Electoral Law Formation. 45–60. vol. no. Rossiiskie regioni: transformatsiya politicheskikh rezhimov [Russian regions: transformation of political regimes] (Moscow: The Whole World. Ryzhkov. pp. As in the U. 1993–1996. Seymour Martin Lipset. see Andrei Ryabov. Linking Party Development and Democracy in the Russian Federation: Are the Assumptions Accurate? unpublished manuscript. Lyudmila Pikhoya. pp.. Epokha Yeltsina (Moscow: Vagrius. 47–59. 388–403.” Comparative Political Studies.Y. pp. “Political Goals. Why Parties? (Chicago: Chicago University Press. For a recent review of the role of parties in democracies and democratizing regimes. and Konstantin Nikiforov. 1967). 69–83. For details.S. and the Choice of an Electoral System: The Russian Parliamentary Election Law. pp. pp. pp.” American Journal of Political Sci- . and Michael Bri. 5 (2000). Kulikov. 1 (January 2000). no. no. The classic statement of this theory is Seymour M. Ellen Lust-Okar and Ameney Ahmad Jamal. see Ted Brader and Joshua Tucker. 11. E.

50–78.” in Michael McFaul. did compete in the 1995 election and its predecessor. 8. D. 12. Making Votes Count: Strategic Coordination in the World’s Electoral Systems (Cambridge. Nikolai Petrov. In relation to Russia. eds. 1999). 15. Individual voters’ preferences must be discerned from national surveys. 31–60. J. The Union of Right Forces did not compete in the 1993 or 1995 elections.C. O. and Andrei Ryabov.: Harvard University Press. Laver and Ian Budge. 1992). “Party Economic Programs and Implications. See Mikhail Dmitriev. this causal chain can be mapped in other ways depending on the country in question. Gary Cox. 1998). Most “actor-centric” studies highlight the correlation between the preferences of the powerful and institutional outcomes. 2000). Stephen White. 1964).C. Martin’s Press. see Alexei Zudin. Michael McFaul. with Elizabeth Reisch. the best comprehensive statement on this subject is Timothy Colton. . Primer on Russia’s 1999 Duma Elections. pp.: Edward Elgar. aggregate stability does not mean that individuals are consistently supporting the same parties. 2001. and Pressure Groups (New York: Crowell.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 6. V. deputy chairman of the party. see Timothy J. U. See also Ted Brader and Joshua Tucker. Transitional Citizens: Voters and What Influences Them in the New Russia (Cambridge. and Andrei Ryabov. in Michael McFaul. 11. Yeltsin’s Russia: Myths and Realities (Washington. M. competed in 1993. in Sergei Markov. 1999). Politics. but noted that most would have a difficult time answering such a question. On this evolution. 18. 40. Pathways to Partisanship in New Democracies: Evidence from Russia. Vyacheslav Igrunov. pp. U.” in McFaul et al. 2002). Nikolai Petrov and Alexei Titkov. (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. Democratic Choice of Russia. 9. Obviously. 103–12.. Alexei Kuzmin.: Cambridge University Press. “Union of Right Forces. 137–51. no. but the core party of this electoral bloc. 4 (November 1996). Of course. pp. For details. Primer on Russia’s 1999 Duma Elections (Washington.K. Popular Choice and Managed Democracy: The Russian Elections of 1999 and 2000 (Washington. 1998). D. 1999). 14. Parties. eds. “Partii v regionakh” [Parties in the regions]. 1253–79. 7. unpublished manuscript. “Regional’noe ismerenie vyborov” [The regional dimension of elections]. Party Policy and Government Coalitions (New York: St. Russia’s Choice. D. 16. 17. Key. 2003).C. Colton and Michael McFaul. Formirovanie partiino-politicheskoi sistemy v Rossii [Formation of a political party system in Russia] (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. eds.Notes to pages 107–110 | 315 ence. Mass.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. pp. Lilia Shevtsova.. 19.: Brookings Institution Press. The argument advanced in this chapter is more complex in contending that some institutional arrangements reflecting the preferences of the powerful produced the intended effect. Nikolai Petrov. 10. for example) produced unintentional outcomes. Rossiya nakanune dumskikh vyborov 1999 goda [Russia on the eve of duma election of 1999]. and Sarah Oates. Elections and Voters in Post-Communist Russia (Cheltenham. while other institutions selected by these same powerful actors (the electoral law for the Duma. Not all parties share these features proportionately... estimated that one-third of Yabloko member are liberals and two-thirds are social democrats. In answer to a question posed by the author about ideological orientation in March 2000. vol.K. pp. and Andrei Ryabov. and Mathew Wyman. 13.

“The Emerging Structure of Partisan Divisions in Russian Politics.” American Political Science Review. 1999). and Voter Alignments. Stephen White. 1999). interview with the author.: Edward Elgar. “Fatherland-All Russia (OVR). U. September 1996. pp. pp.316 | Notes to pages 110–118 At the individual level. 1–64. For details. pp.” Journal of Politics. pp. 2 (May 1998). 4 (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. partisanship looks much more unstable.” Politics and Society. 14–17. 31. vol. 27. 35. Zdenka Mansfeldova. in Parlamentskie vybory 1999 goda v Rossii [Parliamentary election of 1999 in Russia]. pp. Alexei Sitnikov. 507–49. 1998). See Nikolai Petrov. Elections and Voters in Post-Communist Russia (Glasgow. Radek Markowski. 16. Terry Moe.. “Reinventing Russia’s Party of Power: ‘Unity’ and the 1999 Duma Election. The Organization of Interests (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 178–90). no. and Sarah Oates.” in Lipset and Rokkan. Party Systems and Voter Alignments. 417–39. eds. Thomas Remington. vol. “Fenomen ‘Edinstva’” [The phenomenon of ‘unity’]. Rossiya nakanune dumskikh vyborov 1999 goda [Russia on the eve of duma election of 1999]. Popular Choice and Managed Democracy. 28.. 1999. vol. Nikolai Petrov and Alexei Titkov.: Princeton University Press. 60. 1996). “Regional’noe ismerenie vyborov” [The regional dimension of elections]. Seymour Martin Lipset and Stein Rokkan. and Traditional Culture (London: Edward Elgar. 34. 3 (Summer 2000). Power from Within: Sources of Institutional Power with the Russian Duma. see Herbert Kitschelt. Kathryn Stoner-Weiss. and the five regional profiles of the pre-election setting in 1999 in Michael McFaul. 2001). January 2000). “Electoral Institutions and Party Cohesion in the Russian Duma. 1993). Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov. 23. 61–76. See Alexei Makarkin. pp. and Gabor Toka. pp. Communism. 9 (November 1997). N. See Colton and McFaul. “Cleavage Structures. Steven Smith and Thomas Remington. Party Systems. pp.” Post-Soviet Affairs. 33. Philip Roeder. however. 68–99. no. Popular Choice and Managed Democracy. Stephen Whitefield and Geoffrey Evans. 38.. (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. Nikolai Petrov. . “Russian Electoral Politics After Transition: Regional and National Assessments. 3 (September 2001). 26. 24. 20. Vladimir Akimov. The Politics of Institutional Choice: The Formation of the Russian State Duma (Princeton. pp. vol. Russia’s Road to Democracy: Parliament.” in Matthew Wyman. see Colton and McFaul. 32. and Inter-Party Cooperation (New York: Cambridge University Press. Bulletin no. pp. 859–84. “Gubernatorskie partii” [Gubernatorial parties]. pp. 22. N.” in McFaul et al. The Agony of the Russian Idea (Princeton.J.: Princeton University Press. Moshe Haspel. and Steven Smith. Representation. 25. More than a decade after the collapse of communism. “Modernization and Participation in the Leninist Development Strategy.. For a discussion of this literature. 191–262.K. 83. 391–401. no. 385–414. no. “The Limited Reach of Russia’s Party System: UnderInstitutionalization in Dual Transitions. 29. Timothy Colton and Michael McFaul. Boris Makarenko. 21.” Post-Soviet Geography and Economics. eds. 36. unpublished manuscript. one would think that the contours of a post-communist society would have begun to form by now. Tim McDaniel. no. Primer on Russia’s 1999 Duma Elections. 29. Post-Communist Party Systems: Competition. and Victor Sergeyev and Nikolai Biryukov. 3 (September 1989). eds. 1980). 30. and Andrei Ryabov.J. CPRF campaign adviser. 201–24. vol. (pp.

Political Parties in Russia (Berkeley. 1995). 340–83. and the other factors that might come into play that might alter the status quo. see Michael McFaul. “The Advent of Multipartyism. 521–48. 34–48. no. 41.J. see Matthew Shugart and John Carey. no. pp. “Who Shall Speak for Whom? Democracy and Interest Representation in Post-Soviet Russia. Yabloko was founded specifically to compete in the 1993 elections. “The Advent of Multipartyism in Russia. Russia’s 1996 Presidential Election: The End of Polarized Politics (Stanford. vol. N. 1993). 2 (Spring 1993). and M. Steven Fish. all parties except the Communist Party of the Soviet Union were illegal.: Johns Hopkins University Press. 4 (October–December 1995). Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin (Ithaca. vol. Comparative Constitutional Engineering (New York: New York University Press. 45. no. 40.1 (March 1992). Geoffrey Evans and Stephen Whitefield. 11.: Hoover Institution Press.” East European Politics and Society.” 44.” in Alexander Dallin. Thomas Remington and Steven Smith. no. ed.” See M. M. Steven Fish.” British Journal of Political Science. . U. Steven Fish. If the past were the determining factor of all social outcomes all the time. Unexpected Outcomes: Electoral Systems. The LDPR was founded well before the 1993 elections. 42. 4 (October 1993). Calif. vol. pp. vol. On Yeltsin’s reasons.K. 1994). pp. Democracy from Scratch: Opposition and Regime in the New Russian Revolution (Princeton. 1986). Political Parties. see Herbert Kitschelt.: Princeton University Press. The key to constructing useful. On the relationship between proportional representation and multiparty systems. but this amendment came too late to allow parties to participate in any substantial way in the spring 1990 elections. 2001). 457–89. Calif. 1992). On Russia. In 1989. 1997). pp.: International and Area Studies. Presidents and Assemblies (Cambridge. 43. and Representation in Russia (Pittsburgh. pp. pp. no.Y. change would never take place.: Cambridge University Press. “The Formation of Party Systems in East Central Europe. 20.: University of Pittsburgh. see M. 7–50. path-dependent arguments is to specify the conditions under which change could occur.Notes to pages 118–120 | 317 37. Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe Schmitter. “Uncertainty in the Transition: Post-Communism in Hungary.. As Steven Fish presciently wrote in the summer of 1993 before the introduction of proportional representation into the electoral system: “The surest way to animate parties—and the most radical means of correcting the ‘birth defects’ that the elections of 1989 and 1990 created in the embryonic party system—would be a system of proportional representation (PR) that grants parties a monopoly over authority to nominate candidates in office. and Giovanni Sartori. In February 1990. Pa.” Politics and Society. “Identifying the Bases of Party Competition in Eastern Europe. 4 (November 1995). “The Development of Parliamentary Parties in Russia. N. 240–75. 46. Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions (Baltimore. On the debatable relationship between social structure and party development in the post-communist world. 2001). Steven Fish. 38. 39. Article 6 of the Soviet Constitution was amended to permit other parties to organize. but assumed a national profile only after its spectacular showing in this vote.” Post-Soviet Affairs. the parameters within which change might occur. chapter 4. Michael McFaul. 23.” Legislative Studies Quarterly. and Robert Moser. 7. vol. 20.: Cornell University Press. Md. Valerie Bunce and Maria Csanadi.

presidential primaries would change if the general election took place only two weeks after the conclusion of the primary vote. 54. 4 (October– December 1998).” Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics. 56. 14. August 10. 50. Imagine how the dynamics of campaigns in U. 1992). According to Vlast. Russia’s 1996 Presidential Election. Note that three party candidates also competed in the 1996 and 2000 U. eds. Timothy Colton and Jerry Hough. September 1999.K.: Cambridge University Press. Robert Moser. Prospective candidates in both parties would have to run more centrist campaigns in the primaries and at the same time have to be more cordial to their opponents in the primary who would be crucial to remobilizing support for the party’s winning candidate in the final election held just two weeks later.” Post-Soviet Affairs.K. chapter 4. 58. a July 1999 poll conducted by the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research (VTsIOM) showed the level of support for OVR at 28 percent. “Decrees. and stipends in their region or city had improved (presumably in the last month as the question is . higher than for any other party. while 42 percent said they would never adapt. even though the economy had not changed appreciably since August. no. pp. 59. 61. 28 percent of respondents reported that the situation regarding payment of wages. 52. Putin’s popularity eventually grew even more as people started to appreciate a leader of action. thereby allowing the causal influence of the electoral system to be isolated. Presidential Power in Russia (Armonk. The Failure of Presidential Democracy: Comparative Perspectives (Baltimore. pp.S. Author’s interviews with OVR consultants. Juan Linz. 3–90. 1998). Mathew Shugart and John Carey. 49. 60. no. For instance. 1999. U. While a comparison of national and regional elections must take several important differences into account... 1999). and InterBranch Relations in the Russian Federation.” in John Carey and Mathew Soberg Stugart. 54–75. “Delegative Democracy. 1–2 (March 1998). 48. 55–69. 20. no. pp. such a comparison has the advantage of keeping structural variables relatively constant. In another VTsIOM question asked in August 1999. in August 1999. eds. vol.3 percent of the popular vote. Thomas Remington. however. 57. 1994). 1993–1996. Laws. 53. 62–103.. pp. See McFaul. 40 percent had suddenly adapted and only 36 percent reported that they would never adapt.” Journal of Democracy. VTsIOM asked citizens if they and their families had adapted to the changes that had occurred in their country in the last ten years. Sharpe. 14. 31. “Presidential Decree Power in the Second Russian Republic. NY: M. vol. 5. pensions. presidential elections. vol. no. “Presidential or Parliamentary Democracy: Does It Make a Difference?” in Juan Linz and Arturo Valenzuela. On election day. 55. Presidents and Assemblies (Cambridge. Eugene Huskey. 287–322. Growing Pains: Russian Democracy and the Election of 1993 (Washington. pp. “The Electoral Effects of Presidentialism in Post-Soviet Russia.E.: Johns Hopkins University Press. and Moshe Haspel. and Scott Parrish. eds. Executive Decree Authority (Cambridge.” 51. U. Md.S. p. Steven Smith. Stoner-Weiss. 1998). D.C. In November 1999. Guillermo O’Donnell. “The Limited Reach of Russia’s Party System.: Cambridge University Press. VTsIOM polls conducted during the fall of 1999 found the population to be much more optimistic about reforms and much more upbeat about the economy.318 | Notes to pages 120–124 47.: Brookings Institution Press. Twenty-nine percent said yes. 1 (January 1994). OVR won only 13.

Peter Ordeshook. Calif. eds. Grofman and D. pp. Russia’s 1996 Presidential Election. Mass. 67. Bruce Cain and W. Martin’s Press.: University of California Press. no. “Ontology and Rationalization in the Western Cultural Account. while only 17 percent reported the opposite. Calif. 336–66. eds. James March and Johan Olsen.Notes to pages 124–126 | 319 asked every month). 150..” American Political Science Review. In searching through Russian cultural history. 68. F. Hoffmann. 1994). 1989). 49. Political Culture and Soviet Politics (New York: St. 1987). 1 (January 1997). J. The Federalist Papers and the New Institutionalism (New York: Agathon Press. and Brian Arthur. “Notes on the Evolution of Systems of Rules of Conduct. 74. 69. Fleron. See Jack Knight. no. pp. Society. 51 percent reported an improvement. 2 (1991). In the literature on institutions. E. 72. J.: Cambridge University Press. A. F. 1990). 43. pp. 1998). The Rebirth of Russian Democracy: An Interpretation of Political Culture (Cambridge.: Cambridge University Press.” in James Alt and Kenneth Shepsle. “Why a Constitution?” in B. 1979).: University of Michigan Press. Ramirez. 11–31. “The Institutional Foundations of Democratic Government: A Comparison of Presidential and Parliamentary Systems. Path Dependence. no. some evidence indicates that Russia’s past is collective.K. see Stephen White. Institutions and Social Conflict (Cambridge. pp. pp. On the other factors. 1995). Jones.: Rowman and Littlefield.. Authority Patterns. 1992). S. and the Architecture of the New Russian Democracy. and G. Boli. 71. 1967). In November. while 27 percent reported that the situation had become worse. pp. Democrats is the label that this anticommunist movement adopted and that their friends and foes alike used. vol. and J. “Increasing Returns. Thomas. J. 65. Nested Games (Berkeley.K. eds. 177–200. Politics. vol. 184–211.. Wittman.” in Studies in Philosophy. see Terry Moe and Michael Caldwell. Hayek. 94. Reisinger. claiming that all institutions have varying degrees of efficiency and distributional functions and that some institutions are more efficient while others are more distributional is probably more accurate. 66. Thomas. 66–81. Meyer. F. “The Emerging Discipline of Political Economy. 73.” in H. Can Democracy Take Root in Post-Soviet Russia? (Lanham. Eckstein. 171–95. U. Institutional Structure: Constituting State. 2 (June 2000). and W.: Sage Publications. see Gerald Easter. 100–20. this distinction is often flagged as the difference between efficient and distributional institutions. Perspectives on Positive Political Economy (Cambridge. 63. eds. Meyer. and Economics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. On the general argument. pp. 251–68. Rediscovering Institutions (New York: Free Press. pp.” World Politics. Mich. Paul Pierson. On the logic of such expansions of executive power. “Madison’s Theory of Representation. 70. “Global Communications and National Power: Life on the Pareto Frontier.” in Grofman and Wittman. See Nikolai Petro. and the Study of Politics. if not democratic. pp. 1 (March 1994). “Political Culture. The Federalist Papers and the New Institutionalism. 1989).” World Politics. see McFaul. Russell Hardin. and the review of these debates in Russell Bova. Boli.” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics. .: Harvard University Press. and George Tsebelis. Krasner. no. 62. U. 64.” in G. “Preference for Presidentialism: Postcommunist Regime Change in Russia and the NIS. T. 9–30. However. Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy (Ann Arbor. vol. On Russia’s cultural proclivities for autocratic rulers. vol. and the Individual (Beverly Hills. Md.. 1990).

Olga Tarasova. vol. For more details. U. 1991). vol.cikrf.J. 3. 1996).ru/_1_en/doc_2_1.S. “The Emergence of Independent Associations and the Transformation of Russian Political Society. Elena .” 79. 80. N. Lithuania. The Troubled Birth of Russian Democracy: Political Parties. vol.gov. 1995). Accounts of the emergence of civil society during the Gorbachev period include Geoffrey Hosking.usaid. 1253–79. Two of these winners were mayors and one was a former presidential representative. General Boris Gromov in Moscow Oblast. no. In a single ballot with no runoff. “Russian Electoral Politics After Transition. and Path Dependency During Transitions.” American Journal of Political Science.” 81. had only a weak party affiliation with OVR. Uncertainty. and Marcia A. Agency for International Development. 351–79.: Duke University Press. This winner. no. 1993). McFaul and Petrov. 4 (November 1996). Institutional Context. pp. M.: Pennsylvania State University Press. that is. Mass. 82. 299–334.C. N. Steven Fish. Pa. 3 (September 1991). Chapter 6 1. they were nonpartisan candidates from state structures. 4 (October–December 1996). available at www. Yeltsin benefited from the bipolar dynamic in the second round of the 1996 presidential election.” Kommersant-Daily. Yeltsin’s administration agreed ahead of time with the local oblast soviet on a suitable candidate. p. Thomas Remington and Steve Smith. The 1999 NGO Sustainability Index. Calif. When forced to chose between the lesser of two evils. pp. 12. 5–21. Michael McFaul and Sergei Markov. 83. see McFaul. 1 (January 1997).htm. See Richard Rose and Yevgeny Tikhomirov. pp. “Political Goals. February 14. “Prezidenta i deputatov razdelili proportsii. 2000). “Institutional Design. Programs. 76. For details. The Awakening of the Soviet Union (Cambridge. because he won only 3 percent more votes than Zyuganov in the first round. Eco-Nationalism: Anti-Nuclear Activism and National Identity in Russia. Yeltsin would have come precariously close to losing this election. no. vol. 7. Russia’s Liberal Project: State-Society Relations in the Transition from Communism (University Park. Russian estimates indicate smaller numbers of NGOs. 77.” Journal of Communist Studies.” Post-Soviet Affairs. The president’s candidate for the post of governor could be vetoed by a two-thirds majority in the oblast soviet. Weigle. 40. Democracy from Scratch: Opposition and Regime in the New Russian Revolution (Princeton. however. and the Choice of an Electoral System: The Russian Parliamentary Election Law. pp. For instance.: Hoover Institution Press. the majority of voters supported Yeltsin against Zyuganov. Jane Dawson. 2. 78. “Russian Political Parties and the ‘Bosses’: Evidence from the 1994 Provincial Elections in Western Siberia. Three other challengers defeated incumbents.” Party Politics. Grigorii Golosov. and Ukraine (Durham. and Profiles (Stanford. “Russia’s ForcedChoice Presidential Election. available at www.: Princeton University Press. In most cases. 2.320 | Notes to pages 127–135 75. no. 1995.: Harvard University Press. Steven Fish. see the address by Central Election Commission Chairman Aleksandr Veshnyakov.

The Troubled Birth of Russian Democracy. see Howard. Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation (Baltimore. no. On the distinction between civil society and social movements and between civil society and social capital. pp.” Larry Diamond. vol. p. For an opposing view.” in Theda Skocpol and Morris P.: Johns Hopkins University Press. vol. If the essential property of political actors is that. 49.000 in 2001. “Civic Engagement in a Post-Communist State. Civic Engagement in American Democracy (Washington. 1988). pp. April 27. no. political. to be “directly involved with state power…which they seek to control and manage. 1999). that is. 2 (Summer 1996). 9. 6. 3. 2003). 40–41. p. 1 (January 1995). put the figure at 70. 11. 3 (September 1998).” Journal of Democracy. “Civil Society and the Collapse of the Weimar Republic. 3 (April 1997).: Cambridge University Press. 2001). p. Civil Society and Political Theory.” British Journal of Political Science. On these origins. for example.. which encompasses both civic and political actors. 19. See Cohen and Arato.J. 10. at least partially self-supporting. 3 (January 1991). Gearing. Mass. 8. 5. 4.K. “How Americans Became Civic. for instance. and Diamond “Toward Democratic Consolidation. On why such organizations might be excluded. vol. See Robert Putnam. see McFaul and Markov. and economic societies.C. 285–313. Robert Putnam with Robert Leonardi and Raffaella Y. Jeffery J. Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: . see Andrew Arato and Jean Cohen. Civil Society and Democratic Theory. pp. “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital. 345–68.: Princeton University Press. see Keane’s definition of civil society in John Keane. 7. Linz and Stepan claim that the presence of a functioning civil society is one of the five major tasks a nation must engage in for democracy to become consolidated. pp. Fiorina. chapter 3. as Cohen and Arato argue. The Weakness of Civil Society in Post-Communist Europe. such as Robert Putnam’s bowling leagues. see Theda Skocpol. The Weakness of Civil Society in Post-Communist Europe (Cambridge. self-generating. Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (Princeton. 63. no. some argue that “inward-looking groups” that do not engage in activities aimed at achieving some public good. “Democratic Processes in East Central Europe: A Theoretical Reconsideration. For example. 14. Mondak and Adam F. vol. 6.: MIT Press. Democracy From Scratch. p. Md. see Marc Morje Howard. Arato and Cohen. 65–78. ix. and Daniel Nelson. N. The discussion of the proper qualities groups must exhibit does not end there. 615–37.” then many Russian parties have never attained such proximity to the state.Notes to pages 135–140 | 321 Zhemkova.: Brookings Institution Press and the Russell Sage Foundation. Democracy and Civil Society (New York: Verso. 1992). Howard. See Fish. D. requires the realm within which organization takes place to be “open. executive director of Memorial. (Michael McFaul’s interview with Zhemkova. 35. Fish found the distinction between civil and political societies unhelpful in understanding the struggle for democracy in the late 1980s and early 1990s.” World Politics. On the importance of opposition to the state. Nanetti. 1993).” Political Psychology. Civil Society and Democratic Theory (Cambridge. pp. on the positive role that the state can play in developing civil society. and turned to the concept of “movement society” instead. no. p. See. eds. and bound by a legal order or set of shared rules. especially chapter 3. are unqualified. U. no. pp. Larry Diamond. voluntary.” p. Sheri Berman. “Civil Society Endangered. The Weakness of Civil Society in Post-Communist Europe. 1999). 401–30. 221.” Social Research. x. 21. 7. See Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan. On the distinction between civil. vol. autonomous from the state. Grzegorz Ekiert.

see World Values Survey 1995–1997. 22. 1997. Md. . the Leninist Union of Students. Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation. 30–32. 23. 14. This underground movement included the Communist Party of Youth. Leonid Polischuk. Complete information is available at www. 218–260. p.. Francis Fukuyama. and Richard Upjohn. In recent scholarly parlance. pp. Catriona Logan. 18. because their societies enjoyed less autonomy than other nondemocratic regime types.: Cambridge University Press. For a more detailed account of various conceptions of civil society. Politics. 1996).” 13. Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan argue that totalitarian and posttotalitarian regimes face a greater task in building up civil societies than other regimes. The Rebirth of Politics in Russia (Cambridge. 249–250.: Stanford University Press. pp.” See Putnam.worldvaluessurvey. Society. 202 (College Park. Civil Society: Old Images. “Bowling Alone. Russians’ membership in all categories of organizations except labor unions is among the lowest. 1945). Michael Bernard. however. New Visions (Stanford. See Linz and Stepan. 309–30. Colo.” 15. dominate prescriptive arguments for the development of civil society as a democracy-strengthening institution.com. “Russian Civil Society. p. nor do they cover the entirety of the powers ascribed to civil society. Gail W. 19. and Nationality: Inside Gorbachev’s Russia (Boulder. pp. The PostSoviet Handbook: A Guide to Grassroots Organizations and Internet Resources (Seattle. See Michael Urban with Vyacheslav Igrunov and Sergei Mitrokhin. lists thirteen distinct functions that civil society can perform to help the development of democracy that may not fit neatly into either category. Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (New York: Free Press. 121–48. 12..” 21.” Communist and Post-Communist Studies. Even compared with other former communist countries. 1997). Diamond. pp.” in Seweryn Bialer. no. In their comprehensive study of southern European. M.1. 1995). 16. These two kinds of arguments do. Calif. xi. New York: Vintage. 1999). Holt Ruffin. and Eastern European democratizations. this function can be described as building “social capital. Latin American. Larry Diamond. 1998).: Westview Press. Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation. 56.: Center for Civil Society International and University of Washington Press. the Circle of Marxist Thought. 17.K. These are not the only ways to categorize the functions that civil society supposedly performs. pp. “Civil Society After the First Transition: Dilemmas of PostCommunist Democratization in Poland and Beyond. “Bowling Alone. “State and Society: Toward the Emergence of Civil Society in the Soviet Union. See Alexis de Tocqueville. for instance. U. Wash. 1 (September 1996).” working paper no. 24.: Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector).: Johns Hopkins University Press. 20. et al. pp. repr. 16–18. vol. Alyssa Deutschler. see John Keane. “The Emergence of Independent Associations and the Transformation of Russian Political Society. and Post-Communist Europe (Baltimore. ed. 1989). South America. Fish. and the Moscow Logic Circle. Putnam. table 4.322 | Notes to pages 140–143 Southern Europe.. Md. 29. 25. Democracy in America (1984. Ibid. For details. Lapidus.

41. but not the only. see Michael McFaul. 27. 30. Democracy from Scratch. Peter Reddaway. Stanford University. See Bronislaw Geremek. 31.K. Kazakhstan.” World Politics. “The Dynamics of ‘Democratic Russia. no. no. Lapidus. See Stephen White. no. 1990). Polish organizations represented the extreme example of this antistate approach. Obshchestvennie Volneniya v SSSR (Moscow: Levii Povorot. Alexander Smolar. pp. of the 1993 constitution. pp.” Journal of Democracy. Section 1. U. 12–23. as well as for a more comprehensive description of this battle over privatization. Ogonyok. “State Power. 3. 34. dissertation. in June 1962. 265–66. Fish. 78.D. Democracy from Scratch.K.” p. 28.: Harvard University Press. 484.. and Moscow News. pp. Reddaway. chapter 2.” Post-Soviet Affairs. p. “State and Society. 43. 57–84. Notable examples of mass uprising include those in Temir-Tau. 47. laws governing the activities of civil society. 33. vol. vol. U. Mass. Yitzhak Brudny. See especially Adam Przeworski. Aleksandr Yakovlev. Russia’s New Politics: the Management of Post-communist Society (Cambridge.” p. On this acquisition of property. The Troubled Birth of Russian Democracy. vol. “Strength from Without? Transnational Influences on NGO Development in Russia. helped arrange for several pro-reform progressive editors to take charge of publications such as Novyi Mir. 2 (April 1992).: Cambridge University Press. 40. A former CPSU Central Committee member with close and longstanding ties to enterprise directors. 2001. “Civil Society Then and Now. pp. 32. 1 (January 1996). and the Politics of Privatization in Russia. 3–12. pp. no. Arkady Volsky was the intellectual and organizational catalyst for Civic Union.: Cambridge University Press. Stephen White cites reports that only 7 percent of survey respondents regarded the defeat of the coup as a “victory of the democratic revolution. 1998). 210–43. “From Opposition to Atomization. 7.Notes to pages 143–151 | 323 26. Thompson. 9. 2000). Gorbachev’s adviser. in October 1959 and in Novocherkassk.’ 1990–1993. 37. 29. “The Development of Dissent in the USSR. 42. 35. Steven Solnick. A Vision Unfulfilled.” Journal of Democracy. ed. 304. Argumenty i Fakty. 1976). both of which were brutally suppressed. Institutional Change.” but support for the coup was sometimes estimated as high as 40 percent. 125. Democracy and the Market: Political and Economic Reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America (Cambridge. See Vitaly Ponomarev. Fish.” Ph. Stealing the State: Control and Collapse in Soviet Institutions (Cambridge. These are the principal. pp. “The Development of Dissent. 141–70. . Griffith. The NGO Interlegal estimates the existence of more than 200 federal normative acts that concern the activities of public associations (which are also subject to local and regional regulations). vol.” in William E. 36. and McFaul and Markov. 38. 44. 1991). The Soviet Empire: Expansion and Détente (Lexington. 2 (April–June 1993). 2 (January 1995).: Lexington Books. 39. Mass. Russia. p. Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom.

at the helm of government. and Randi Ryterman.” American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings. “Getting Things Done with Social Capital: The New Russia Barometer VII. through their representatives in the Duma. Terry Moe. no. See Timothy Frye and Andrei Shleifer. “Observations on the Development of Small Private Enterprises in Russia. Weigle. part 2 (July 2000). 49. for example. Nevertheless. p. 105–33. Peter Murrell. Agency for International Development. 2002). U. no. leaving nothing for investment in production. 191–205. Chubais and his allies criticized the “political approach” of the parliament regarding privatization.: Harvard University Press. the state rarely acted against the interests of the oil and gas sector. See. . 1993. Chubais feared that too much worker control of privatized enterprises would threaten the objective of privatization—efficient. chapter 4. vol. pp.: University of Strathclyde. 51. the former chairman of Gazprom. See Timothy Colton. no. February 9. 51. Russian Public Opinion and Market Research 1999 survey results. N. p. The 1999 NGO Sustainability Index. Violent Entrepreneurs: The Use of Force in the Making of Russian Capitalism (Ithaca.” Jamestown Foundation Prism. Russia’s Liberal Project. Vadim Volkov. U.: MIT Press. and in “Daily Report: Central Eurasia.K.usaid. “The Invisible Hand and the Grabbing Hand. 357–59. 3030 (Glasgow.” June 11. 354–58. vol. 47. 87. 55. Rose reported in 1998 that only 9 percent of Russian citizens participated in a voluntary organization. with devastating consequences for sound fiscal policy. See Richard Rose. Transitional Citizens: Voters and What Influences Them in the New Russia (Cambridge. June 10. 50. Two oligarchs. 1992. For a comprehensive overview. 2 (April–June 1997). 1993. The Organization of Interests (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. and in Foreign Broadcast Information Service’s “Daily Report: Central Eurasia.: Cornell University Press. quoted in Elena Bashkirova. vol. 1998). profit-seeking companies—because worker-controlled enterprises would devote all their profits to wages and salaries. 1980). 2 (May 1997). vol. 52. 57. 1992.” February 9.” Post-Soviet Affairs. p.Y. 7. Chubais.324 | Notes to pages 151–154 Volsky and his organizations represented the interests of that portion of the Soviet nomenklatura that wanted to preserve its previous economic privileges but under new market conditions. 56. they continued to exert influence over the budget.S. while many others enjoyed special access to the president and his administration. no. “Civil Society and Changes in the Outlook of the Russian People. 4 (April 1997). 38. “End of the Tunnel? The Effects of Financial Stabilization in Russia. 2000). no. Vladimir Potanin and Boris Berezovsky. 60. 53. With Viktor Chernomyrdin. Mass. Colton’s 1995–1996 survey produced the 8 percent number. 2000). Using All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research data. 45. Andrei Schleifer and Daniel Treisman. Chubais as quoted in Russia’s Informational Telegraph Agency–TASS News. p.gov. 46. see Anders Åslund. pp. as cited in INTERFAX News. Barry Ickes. 28. Without a Map: Political Tactics and Economic Reform in Russia (Cambridge. 54. pp. VI. available at www.” Studies in Public Policy. 48.” Post-Soviet Geography and Economy. Mass. warning that the achievement of “political goals of various [interest] groups” could enervate the government’s privatization program. assumed positions in the government. pp. 13. 22.

1997).K.. vol. 2002) p. and Richard Conn.” Russia Business Watch.: Johns Hopkins University Press. 62. Peter Murrell. 61. May 16. 81. The Weakness of Civil Society.: Cambridge University Press. chapter 5.” Journal of Politics. Richard Rose. however. 13–19. “Russia Reinvents the Rule of Law.” American Journal of Political Science.” Comparative Politics. Russia’s New Politics: The Management of Post-communist Society (Cambridge. 1 (October 1992). 1–23. 10. Parties and Duma members remained in single digits. pp. 25. 1 (Winter 2002–2003). “Russia as an Hour-Glass Society: A Constitution Without Citizens. vol. with an average addition of one more bureaucrat every eighteen minutes (Trud. See Leon Aron. See Richard Rose and Neil Munro. from 1993 to 1998 trust in churches ranged from 35 percent to 52 percent and in armed forces from 23 to 39 percent. and Randi Ryterman. 2 (2000). World Development Report 1997: The State in a Changing World (New York: Oxford University Press. Relationships. see James Gibson. Arend Lijphart. eds. no. 66. The Failure of Presidential Democracy: Comparative Perspectives (Baltimore. 2002. Some would add that this trait is not only a Soviet legacy. 418–51. 32–42. “Challenges of Implementing a New Legal System. During the same period. U. Some positive signs are.: Cambridge University Press.K. 1 (January 2001). but also an aspect of Russian culture. 270. Putin has also initiated legal reforms from the top.” American Political Science Review. vol. trust in political parties was at most 5 percent. “Trust. no. Distrust. 63. U. pp. in parliament was at most 9 percent. chapter 3). Howard. 51–68. “Intimidation and the Symbolic Uses of Terror in the USSR. vol.8 percent of GDP during the early stages of reform in 1992 to 10. in trade unions was 13 percent. 3 (1995) pp. On the stages of development of civil society in post-communist transitions. Federal tax collections dropped from 17. vol. no. no. vol. pp. although the actual consequences of these programs have yet to be understood. 226. and the Prospects for Consolidating Russia’s Democratic Transition. William Mishler and Richard Rose. and Private Enforcements: Transactional Strategies of Russian Enterprises. 627–56.” Europe-Asia Studies. 2001). Elections Without Order: Russia’s Challenge to Vladimir Putin (Cambridge. no. see Marcie Weigle and Jim Butterfield. in courts and the police was 17 percent. according to World Bank data (see Shleifer and Treisman. pp. apparent in specific courts and sectors. 64. 50. p. 1994). Civil Society. See Kathryn Hendley. The newspaper Trud cites the State Committee of the RF on Statistics estimate of bureaucratic officials at almost 1. 59.” American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research Russian Outlook.2 million at the end of 2000. 60. March 20. 4 (July–August 2003). 65. pp.Notes to pages 154–157 | 325 58. 45. no. World Bank. Without a Map. no. “Law. vol. and Kathryn Hendley. The one person or institution with a trust level above 50 percent was Putin.” Problems of PostCommunism. in regional governments was 17 percent. According to one survey.1 percent in 1997. 91–105. pp. 59. “Social Networks. pp. “Presidentialism and Majoritarian Democracy: Theoretical Observations. . “Civil Society in Reforming Communist Regimes. 52. See Stephen White. and in “government” was 18 percent. 1065–98. 4 (December 1987). no. and Skepticism: Popular Evaluations of Civil and Political Institutions in Post-Communist Societies. “The Use of Courts by Russian Creditors. vol. Md.” East European Constitutional Review. in local governments was 19 percent. 2 (1997). 2000). 4. 67. 34–42. For a somewhat different conclusion. Rose and Munro found similar results in 2001. Donna Bahry and Brian Silver. pp.” in Juan Linz and Arturo Valenzuela.

: U. 75. whose organizers seek to shatter the President’s Administration.” Problems of PostCommunism. March 16. Ignatyeva. “In Russia. “Social Networks. D. no. Reported on www. U.” See Teodor Shanin. A43. Country Report on Human Rights Practices: Russia (Washington. 2001. Posted on May 7. February 10.: U. “The Putin Path.C. Mendelson. on news site www. 5 (September–October 2000). available at www. pp.strana. “Rural Russia— the Present Stage. “What Has Happened to Russian Society?” in Andrew Kuchins. Department of State.ru.usaid. 1999). Its experts attested that the effect previously identified as “detrimental” is characteristic of all religious services and other events such as rock concerts. 2001). 85. “We are witnessing. 69. Russia After the Fall (Washington.” Washington Post.” 72. Department of State.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Civil Society. 73. ed.org/eng_projects/registration. ‘Liquidating’ Churches. 84. “Getting Things Done with Social Capital. Department of State. 1999 NGO Sustainability Report. Sergei Markov. November 14.S.” presentation delivered at the conference on Russia: Ten Years Later. . “Russia Paper Describes Prosecution of Fringe Youth Organizations. 78. D. 2001. “The Putin Path: Civil Liberties and Human Rights in Retreat. 2001. on www.” Posted on January 22. “Vremya Svobody Sovesti eshchyo ne vidno. 47.C. 147–162. 2002).” 82. See also Sarah Mendelson.C. Agency for International Development assesses the probability of favorable legislation to be uncertain at best.smi. Ignatyeva. 85.” The Slavonic Legal Center later successfully challenged this decision in court. 80. 70. p.” U. January 25.” p.” 71. The U. “Vremya svobody Sovesti eshchyo ne vidno” Obshchaya Gazeta. on www.326 | Notes to pages 158–163 68.gov/regions/europe_eurasia/dem_gov/.” Available at www. Meeting with the representatives on May 12. 2001. Interview with Eliza Klose. for example.S. “Vremya Svobody Sovesti eshchyo ne vidno. several continuous and persistent campaigns in the press in the last two months alone. Rose. S.ru. 77. Lev Ponomarev.S. 4. 79. 74. Elliott Abrams. Yulia Ignatyeva. pp. 83.ru. 2000). “Contradictions in Human Rights Movement in Russia. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (June 8–9. Teodor Shanin has attributed the ability of citizens to survive in rural areas to quasi-private–quasi-public “networks of mutual support. 2001. and the Prospects for Consolidating Russia’s Democratic Transition.” June 7. D.S. vol.glasnostonline. (Washington. 81. 2001. Glasnost Public Foundation.strana. 2001.htm. interview with the authors. Sergei Karaganov. 2001.strana. 3–12. BBC Monitoring Service.S. states that 70 percent of organizations were able to register.. Agency for International Development. Twigg.ru. Reprinted in “Johnson’s Russia List” newsletter in English as “The Age of Freedom of Conscience Is Nowhere to be Seen. Judyth L. Country Report on Human Rights Practices: Russia. 2000. p. “Russian Authorities Force Organizations to Become Underground. See especially Gibson. director of Initiative for Social Action and Renewal in Eurasia. Agency for International Development. U. 76.” Posted on May 13.

Moscow. “RFE/RL Security Watch.ru/cgi-bin/content/content. For his reflections. “Dr. www. accessed August 5. Vsevelod Bogdanov.ru/2001/06/12/992372090. 2000. www.” The latter orchestrated a mass rally for the first anniversary of Putin’s rule.htm.” Sovetskaya Rossiya. “Rech’ idet o razrushenii VTsIOM” [Getting ready for VTsIOM’s destruction]. The only organization invited that was critical of the state was the Moscow Helsinki Group. see Nikitin and Buchanan.isar. Mediasoyuz and the old Journalists’ Union are unlikely to become allies serving the same causes. Alexander Nikitin decided to attend.000 members in Putin t-shirts. 87.gazeta. for example. “Putin Regime Pressures Russian Environmental Activists. and the youth group “Walking Together.” Moscow Tribune.” http://shr.html.html. See.org/aaashran. a charity fund for infants with heart problems. Mediasoyuz has “more authoritative/respectable journalists. November 27.” Initiative for Social Action and Renewal in Eurasia. A24. “Comprehending the Weakness of Russia’s Unions. 92. Alexander Nikitin and Jane Buchanan. the consumer rights group Zashchita. vol.org/isar/archive/GT/GT9djpeterson. no.” 96. human rights activists Lev Ponomarev and Sergei Grigorants explained that they refused to go because they did not want to show support for the entire project. 90. Available on www. Sutyagin’s Moscow Trial Begins: Action Alert. March 14.” Demokratizatsiya. 5–6. pp. Other provisions of the law include a fine imposed on unions that do not provide required information about workers. Many journalists and activists viewed this event with deep skepticism about Putin’s aims. Stephen Crowley. First Day. no. “The Kremlin’s Civic Forum. D. “Civil Society Remains Merely a Dream. 2001.smi. 95. 10. by Gazprom and the Kremlin during the NTV affair. “The Kremlin’s Civic Forum: Cooperation or Cooptation for Civil Society in Russia?” Demokratizatsiya. p. pp. with Lyubimov. 93.Notes to pages 163–166 | 327 86.pl?act=art&tmpl=news_a&list= news_nati&id= 992607168. 2003. . that journalists from private networks owned by oligarchs are not “professional” or “independent.” and a reduction in the length of maternity leave to half the current period. Give and Take (Fall 2000).tribune. “Political” organizations included the Institute of Civil Society Problems. [Article no longer online. vol. 2 (Spring 2002).] 94. 97.smi. By contrast. “Media-Forum Our Time. because Bogdanov had been too vocal in defense of the freedom of the press. 2001. Complete information on the case available in American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Human Rights Action Network. 89. May 30. 2001. “Russia’s Spy Trials. pp.ru. 10. Lyubimov claimed that even though the goals of the two groups are similar. and the new union is clearly a more Kremlin-friendly group. a possibility of a fifty-six-hour work week “with worker’s consent. Yurii Levada. Dmitri Polikarpov. Peterson. J. 91.ru.000 to 20.” Agence France Presse. 88.” This echoes the argument. www.” See Pyotr Belkin. claiming that he had no intention of encouraging those parts of civil society that had a record of criticizing the state.” June 13. had reported earlier that the Kremlin wanted to replace the current leader of the Union of Journalists. Joshua Handler. 2 (Spring 2002). In interviews with the author. June 15. 147–65.” Washington Post. “Russian Science Academy Orders Reports on Foreign Contacts. dressing their 15. www. Sergei Markov’s Institute for Political Studies. 230–257. the Association of Forced Settlers of Suzdal. 2001.aaas.

and the World Wildlife Fund were some of the key participants.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. 46. paper presented at the conference on the Environmental Situation in Russia: Problems and Prospects (Washington. Numerous exchanges between various environmentalists on the Center for International Civil Society e-mail list identified an organization called Ecological Forum as a Kremlinsponsored group. now executive director of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy. p. the Glasnost Public Foundation. According to Natalia Mironova.htm. Cited terms are taken. 2002.html. the Center for Russian Environmental Policy. 107.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Within five months. www. D. 113.ru/ printable/469009. The ministry also resumed the publication of a previously discontinued ecological journal. 108. available at www.slate. including the Andrei Sakharov Foundation. paper presented at the conference on “The Environmental Situation in Russia: Problems and Prospects” (Washington.net. quoted in “Media Muzzle.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Newsline. See the VTsIOM poll results from January 25–28. “Vremya svobody Sovesti eshchyo ne vidno. 2001). The minister of natural resources met with the environmentalists on numerous occasions. March 21. from Masha Lipman. According to environmental activists. 5 (Moscow: Center for Russian Environmental Policy. Paul Goble. director of the AFL-CIO’s Moscow Solidarity Center. [Article no longer online] 102. 2001. 105. March 1–2. 2000. Putin’s concern with public opinion drove him to request that his government reconsider the proposed reorganization of ministries.” Economist. Yablokov is former environmental adviser to President Yeltsin. Obshchaya Gazeta. 2000). p.com. 8.labournet. 103. A17. May 31. 99. “I Want My NTV!” April 9. March 6.ru/ne104113. “The Kremlin and the Crescent. 2003). 101. according to Yevgeny Schwartz. 106. See Anne Applebaum.russian-orthodox-church. 112. 100. in order. 109. March 1–2. April 21–27. 2002. 2001). 110. p.” Washington Post. See www. 114. and Yevgenia Albats and Mikhail Berger. 111. 104. The congress was organized by representatives of the major established human rights organizations. Ignatieva. For Human Rights. Spasenie.org.polit.” no.” . Quoted in Center for Russian Environmental Policy Bulletin “Towards a Sustainable Russia. and the Glasnost Defense Foundation. “How Putin Pardons. D. 2001. February 19.C. Aleksander Nikitin’s Coalition for Environment and Human Rights. the Moscow Helsinki Group. Memorial. McFaul’s interview with Irene Stevenson. 2001. 2001. July 14. which Prime Minister Kasyanov refused to do. this was because he feared the power of this social movement (author’s interview with Alexei Yablokov.328 | Notes to pages 166–171 98.C. more than 200 articles on the referendum petition appeared in the national press and more than 600 in the regional press. 2001. Interview with Shein. April 17. www.

4. P. Yarmolyuk. 1998). Informacionnoye prostranstvo Rossii: struktura. D. 3. M. 6 (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. U. 112–13. p. Syutkina. Fedorov. Sredstva massovoy informatsii i sovremennoe obshestvo: materiali seminarov Rossiysko-Skandinavskogo kursa NorFa [Mass media and contemporary society: materials from the seminars of Russian-Scandinavian course NorFa] (St. V. 7.. Joseph Gibbs. eds. U. U. I. osobennosti funkcionirovanniya. in Pressa v Obshestve [The Press in Society] (Moscow: Moscow School of Political Studies. Zassoursky. 1997). and J. 16. Curran and M. Pugacheva.Notes to pages 174–178 | 329 Chapter 7 1. see A. p.K. 2000). no. (Moscow: Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia Publishers. vol. M. “Rossiyskoe Obshestvo i SMI” [Russian society and the mass media] Pro et Contra. 2000). Sredstva massovoy informacii postsovetskoy Rossii [Mass media in post-Soviet Russia]. Elena Androunas. O. 4 (Fall 2000). no. 2002). “Vlasti i SMI v Rossii: kak izmenilis ikh vzaimootnosheniya” [The authoritites and mass media in Russia: how their relationship has changed] Pro et Contra. D. 8. Yanitsky. 5. S.: A&M University Press. 1999). For an analysis of this law and other bills on the media in contemporary Russia. See Ellen Mickiewicz. Gibbs. D. De-Westernizing Media Studies (New York: Routlege.. 1996). Media: Communications. Park. eds. Gorbachev’s Glasnost: The Soviet Media in the First Phase of Perestroika (College Station. 2. 6. Dzyaloshinskii. 2000). “Pressa soediniala ludey v ‘grazhdanskih iniciativah’” [The press has united people in ‘civil initiatives’]. Soviet Media in Transition: Structural and Economic Alternatives (London: Praeger. pp. 10. A. P. Sredstva massovoy informacii Rossii: socialnaya sreda i politicheskie funkcii [Russian mass media: social environment and political function]. V. 1999). G. A. 5. vol. Liberman. . Dzyaloshinsky. M. N. I. M. O. Richter. Popova. (Moscow: Moscow State University Publishers. D. Pressa v obshestve [The press in society]. 1993). Tex. perspektivi evolucii [Russia’s informational space: structure. Rimskii. N. 4 (Fall 2000). S. (Moscow: Socio-Logos Publishers. Gorbachev’s Glasnost. no. 1999).: Oxford University Press. L. Volkov. SMI i politika v Rossii: sociologicheskiy analiz roli smi v izbiratelnih kampaniyah: sbornik statey [Mass media and politics in Russia: a sociological analysis of the role of mass media in electoral campaigns: a collection of articles]. eds. Grabelnikov. Balutenko. Reform Foundation. 2000). V. express issue (Moscow: Reform Foundation. MassMedia Vtoroi Respubliki [Mass media of the second republic]. 5. I. J. Veronika Usacheva. I. P. prospects of evolution]. 2001). A. S. Political Department. Strebkov. p. 9. 54. E. Zassoursky.. (Moscow: Moscow School of Political Studies. A. See O. Fedotov. Khalkina. Degtyarenko. K. Mass-media vtoroi respubliki [Mass media of the second republic].. pecularities of functioning. Zadorin. The following are a few of the major monographs and collections of articles: A. M. ed. 15. Zalesskii. Sredstva massovoy informacii postsovetskoy Rossii [Mass media in postSoviet Russia] (Moscow: Aspect-Press. Petersburg: 2000). Konovalenko. “Pravovie osnovi svobodi pechati” [Legal foundations for freedom of the press] in Yassen Zassoursky. Yassen Zassoursky and Elena Vartanova. and the Open Society (Moscow: IKAR Publishers. G. I. Changing Channels: Television and the Struggle for Power in Russia (Oxford.

Bolshaya manipuliativnaya Igra [Big manipulative game] (Moscow: Algoritm. 26.ru. Nezavisimaya Gazeta. pp. 17. 2002). 15. Zassoursky. 55. pp. 21. Reform Foundation.. 1995. Ibid. express issue (Moscow: Reform Foundation. 2001). p. “Media v postsovetskoi Rossii: ikh struktura i vliyanie” [The media in post-Soviet Russia: their structure and influence]. p. Ot mneniy k ponimaniyu: sociologicheskie ocherki. 3. 1998). I. p. N. 41. 16. 19. 17. 118–21. 23. 13. SMI i vlast: Rossiya devianostih [The mass media and authority: Russia of the nineties] (Moscow: Aspect-Press. L. “Obshestvennaya ekspertiza” [Public expertise] in Anatomiya svobodi slova [Anatomy of the freedom of speech] (Moscow: Obshestvennaya Ekspertiza. 11–104. Sredstva massovoy informacii Rossii: socialnaya sreda i politicheskie funkcii [The mass media: social environment and political function]. 14. 4 (Fall 2000). 5. pp. Political Department. 1993–2000 [From opinion to understanding: sociological accounts] (Moscow: Moscow School of Political Studies. Nezavisimaya gazeta. Sherova. no. Pro et Contra. p. 4 (Fall 2000). 24. pp. 1997. “Ot iniciativnyh grupp k anonimnim media: massovie kommunikacii v Rossiyskom obshestve” [From initiative groups to anonymous media: mass communication in Russian society]. 313. 2000). One of the first issues of the newspaper Segodnya (February 23. For more details on the mechanisms for manipulating public opinion with the help of the mass media. 12. see www. 20. 28. See Usacheva. 29. p. Perevorot na media-rinke: zhurnalist perestal bit chelovekom [A coup on the media market: the journalist has ceased to be a person] www. 18. “Voyna chuzhimi rukami” [War by others’ hands]. Valery Solovei.apn. p. 25. Pro et Contra.” in which the model of a social structure with minimum interference by the state was described as the social goal of democratic change. p. 64. For complete information on the project. Ibid. . Yelena Vartanova. December 5. I. Zassoursky. John Dunlop. p. see Boris Dubin. Yuri Levada. Lazareva. vol. Gleb Pavlovsky. “Vlasti i SMI v Rossii” [The authorities and mass media in Russia]. Even law enforcement was entrusted to private security as a more efficient and organized force than that sponsored by the government. March 7. 60–80. p. M. 1998). 167–74. 237–41. For more details. 27. see Avtandil Tsuladze. pp. 5. Ibid. Russia Confronts Chechnya: Roots of a Separatist Conflict (Cambridge. vol. U.: Cambridge University Press.. 116–17. Mass-media vtoroi respubliki [Mass media of the second republic] pp.330 | Notes to pages 179–192 11. 313. 38–41. chapter 4.. 22. Dubin. 5. 92–93. no. 1993) contained a lengthy article entitled “Liberal Charter. “‘Nacionalizaciya’ rezhima budet prodolzhatsia” [Nationalization of the regime will continue]. 2000). “Ot iniciativnih grupp k anonimnim media” [From initiative groups to anonymous media].ru (December 30.K.freepass. 1999). Rabotaem s SMI [Working with the mass media] (Moscow: Expert Community 2002).

418. “Ne stoit ‘slizivat’ u zapada” [Let’s not copycat the west]. Ilyin. 2 (St. Vladimir Shlapentokh. 122. 5. Ibid. ili Vostochno-Evropeyskiy experiment ‘obratnogo hoda’ istorii’” [Premature constitutionalism or the Eastern European experiment in the ‘reverse flow’ of history] in Konstitucionnoe pravo: vostochnoevropeyskoe obozreniye. 36. Mass.” Post-Soviet Affairs. Trud. Guliev. As stated in. Sergei Samoilov. 16.. Tikhomirova. 1905). The Soviet Union also never recognized the idea that human rights were natural and inalienable as official doctrine. 1917–1923. Belson. p. which refers to republics within the USSR. Varlamova. A. U. Petersburg: N. Jeffrey Kahn. V. 3.: Westview Press.Notes to pages 195–215 | 331 Chapter 8 1. 6. 29. p. Richard Sakwa. 9. 11.J. p. 3. p. 2. but this disappeared in 1991 with the disintegration of USSR. “Prezhdevremenniy constitucionalizm. 1997). The National Question in Marxist-Leninist Theory and Strategy (Princeton. 272. and Mikhail Loiberg. 1988).: Harvard University Press. eds. Petrov. Glagolev Publishing. 1993). 54. p. See Pipes. The Formation of the Soviet Union. (Cambridge. rev.. p. Colo. Russian Politics and Society. 8. O sushnosti pravosoznaniya [On the essence of legal consciousness] (Moscow: Rarog Publishers. 1 (January–March 2000). “The Parade of Sovereignties: Establishing the Vocabulary of the New Russian Federalism. M. Demokratiya v vospriyatii Rossiyskogo obshestva [The perception of democracy in Russian society] (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. 32. Sukharev. (London and New York: Routledge. 1984). 58–88. p.: Princeton University Press. V. 7. vol. 5. 2 (1998). Yuridicheskiy enciklopedicheskiy slovar [Legal encyclopedia] (Moscow: Infra-M Publishers. Roman Levita. Materiali XIX vsesoyuznoy konferencii kommunisticheskoy partii Sovetskogo Soyuza [Materials from the XIX all-union conference of the communist party of the Soviet Union] (Moscow: Novasti Publishing House. p. Soviet federalism. N. From Submission to Rebellion: The Provinces Versus the Center in Russia (Boulder.. See Richard Pipes. Y. 1971). V. 6. The Formation of the Soviet Union: Communism and Nationalism. for example. 1997). pp. p. p. 65. L. 53. 2nd ed. vol. Emphasis by the author. 4. 343. 1984). and Walker Connor. 10. I. 4. 2. 1964). 69. December 20. Tikhomirov. 2000. Sochineniya Ferdinanda Lassalia [Works of Ferdinand Lassalle]. ed. no. 1996). CPSU. Yuridicheskaya enciklopediya [Legal encyclopedia] (Moscow: Yurinformcentr Publishers. is a different case. Vladimir Petukhov. In the place of this notion was the idea that citizens’ rights and freedoms were granted by the state. 4. pp. 2001). . Chapter 9 1. A. ed. See N. Marksistsko-Leninskaya obshaya teoriya gosudarstva i prava: istoricheskie tipi gosudarstva i prava [Marxist-Leninist general theory of state and law: historical types of state and law] (Moscow: Judicial Literature. no.

is an extreme instance in the relations between Moscow and its regions. 9. However.C. Politicheskii almanakh Rossii [Political almanac of Russia]. 9–10 (1999). Eight of the remaining nineteen republics strongly opposed the draft. for example. 1997). in no other case did nationalists manage to come to power by force as in Chechnya. The problem of Chechnya lies between these two conditions of Russian statehood. In total. 22. 22–43. 11. Vremya Yuga: Rossiya v Chechne. in the Krasnoyarsk gubernatorial election. and a third with autonomous districts. nos. 15. ground up between the millstones of imperial centralism and ethnic particularism. Even though national movements flourished in almost every ethnic republic between 1990 and 1992. a second with Russian krais and oblasts. Chechnya v Rossii [Time of the South: Russia in Chechnya. D. see Georgy Derluguian. of course. 1999). pp.” Alexei Malashenko and Dmitri Trenin. (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. 2002). Aleksandr Lebed’ v Krasnoyarskom Krae [Aleksandr Lebed’ in the Krasnoyar Krai]. 13. and in the spring of 1991 Gorbachev invited the leaders of autonomous republics to participate in the preparation of the new Union Treaty. vol. 1997).” Post-Soviet Affairs. Chechnya in Russia]. See Nikolai Petrov.332 | Notes to pages 215–220 7. p. 1 (Winter 2000). three treaties were signed: one with republics. see McFaul and Petrov. Carnegie Moscow Center researchers Dmitri Trenin and Alexei Malashenko have put the situation in a more evolutionary context: “The Chechen War is also a unique symbol of Russia’s loss of imperial status. eds. see Jeffrey Kahn. Daniels.: Brookings Institution Press.” See Robert V.. 1 (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. Stavrakis. (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. vol. 16. The success of the state’s positive evolution thus depends in large part on resolving the Chechen issue. “Democracy and Federalism in the Former Soviet Union and the Russian Federation. and Matthew Evangelista. “The Parade of Sovereignties: Establishing the Vocabulary of the New Russian Federalism. Only seventy of the eighty-seven regions where voting took place supported the draft. pp. 1402–04. pp. The law on autonomous republics adopted by the USSR Supreme Soviet in the fall of 1990 gave them equal status with Union republics. 12. vol.” in Peter J. 257. eds. it serves as a warning that federalism may fail in the Russian republic just as it failed in the Soviet Union as a whole. 243. 8. 58–88. For detailed analysis. but this difference no longer exists. 180–81. which saw General Aleksandr Lebed defeat incumbent Governor Valery Zubov. The Russian Federation is no longer quite an empire. Joel de Bardeleben and Larry Black. 14. For a detailed comparison.C. vol. no. Beyond the Monolith: The Emergence of Regionalism in Post-Soviet Russia (Washington. 10. . 2002). As Robert V. For more details see Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov. The Soviet Union was a continuation of the Russian Empire. For more details. but neither is it a democracy in the full sense of the word. the major target of the whole undertaking. Politicheskii almanakh Rossii [Political almanac of Russia]. “Ethnofederalism and Ethnonationalism in the Separatist Politics of Chechnya and Tatarstan: Sources or Resources?” International Journal of Public Administration. This was true. Oblasts used to be distinguished from krais because oblasts were usually smaller and krais were bigger and located in border regions (the word krai means both the big region and the edge).: Woodrow Wilson Center Press. Daniels has pointed out: “Chechnya. 1. pp. The Chechen Wars: Will Russia Go the Way of the Soviet Union? (Washington.. D. including thirteen where turnout was lower than the required 50 percent of voters. p.

July 8. 23–33. The republics had thirty-two seats each in the CPD (eleven in the Supreme Soviet). 21. Conn. no. pp.Notes to pages 221–228 | 333 16. the elites consolidated around Primakov. The Kremlin used direct threats against governors. 2 (April–June 2000). 23. January 31. no. For example.068 deputies elected in single-mandate districts. and autonomous okrugs had one seat each (one in the CPD). Even without Putin’s appointment as prime minister. and supervisory organ of state power of the RSFSR. when the RSFSR Council of Nationalities was formed with half its seats occupied by representatives from ethnic territories. two seats to each autonomous oblast. return to the appointment of regional leaders. Similar representation was reproduced in the USSR CPD. “Sovet federatsii i predstavitel’stvo regional’nykh interesov v tsentre” [Federation council and the representation of regional interests in the center] in Nikolai Petrov. pp. 2000. 2001). from which the Supreme Soviet was elected. 1999). Message to the Federal Assembly. who received . no special reasons accounted for the apocalyptic vision of relations between the center and the regions. In 1990. ethnic territorial units were represented in the Council of Nationalities. “Russia’s Asymmetric Federation: Are All Differences Alike?” unpublished manuscript (New York: Columbia University. the upper house of the Supreme Soviet. 1989–1999 (New Haven. dispositive. 133–176.” The Congress consisted of 1. 24. See Thomas Remington. see Nikolai Petrov. 19. was defined as the “highest organ of state power of the RSFSR. Regiony Rossii v 1998 godu: yezhegodnoe prilozhenie k politicheskome almanakhu Rossii [Russia’s regions in 1998: a yearly appendix to the political almanac of Russia] (Moscow: Gendalf. The Russian Parliament: Institutional Evolution in a Transitional Regime. See. pp. autonomous republics had eleven seats each (four in the CPD).” while the RSFSR CPD.” Problems of Post-Communism.” Post-Soviet Affairs. 25. 180–222.. autonomous oblasts had five seats each (two in the CPD). p. Alfred Stepan. 47. the same proportion was used: four seats were given to each autonomous republic. vol. enlargement of the subjects of the federation) with a number of personal alliances with the strongest regional leaders. 17. and one seat to each autonomous okrug. the Supreme Soviet was defined by the constitution as a “permanently operating legislative.: Yale University Press. 18. for example. According to Stalin’s design. 2000). See. At that time. 24. “Political Stability in Dagestan: Ethnic Parity and Religious Polarization. who combined a tough program (restoration of a vertical power hierarchy. 20. 22. for example. 115–16. “Russian Federalism in Comparative Perspective. pp. of which 900 were apportioned in accordance with population (socalled territorial districts) and 168 were apportioned in accordance with the status of territorial units (so-called national-territorial districts) half the seats were given to thirty-one national autonomies and the other half to fifty-seven proper Russian regions. 16. vol. the presidential representative to the State Duma told the press that law enforcement agencies were ready to jail a number of regional leaders after they lost their immunity. For more details about the Federation Council’s evolution and functioning. 2 (March–April 2000). ed. Just as at the Union level. Robert Bruce Ware and Enver Kisriyev. Nothing of the kind happened. but the threat helped the Kremlin to create an intimidating atmosphere and forced governors to defend their undeserved privileges. The old RSFSR Supreme Soviet had a single chamber consisting of 975 deputies elected in single-member districts. Steven Solnick.

Moscow Mayor Luzhkov. no. Putin’s Russia: Past Imperfect. 26. 59–68. 27. no. 1 (January 1993). “The Puzzle of Federal Reform: Two and a Half Years On. the center used the stick and the carrot approach more effectively and in a month and a half after Putin’s appointment the inter-regional movement Unity appeared. Eight inter-regional economic associations were formed in 1990 and early 1991 to oppose regional. vol. vol. “Russia’s Regional Associations in Decline. Alfred Kokh. January 7.334 | Notes to pages 229–231 favors in return. Tuva. Alexei Kudrin. and Nikolai Petrov. Future Uncertain (Lanham. Kemerovo Oblast. Dagestan. while others were “suspended. ostensibly initiated by a number of regional leaders of the most scandalridden and corrupt administrations. Komi-Permyak Autonomous Okrug. 2003. 219–37. Nikolai Petrov and Darrell Slider. and Evenki Autonomous Okrug) are already implemented through the federal treasury system. 32. deputy head of the President’s Administration. 2. transfer of federally owned shares). Dmitri Kozak. . vol. In addition to his main ally. his allies included Tatarstan President Shaimiyev (in the spring of 1999. head of the Property Department of the President’s Administration. head of Unified Energy Systems. Anatoly Chubais. Md. Vremya. head of Gazprom. “Putin and the Regions. no. 1999..” Jamestown Foundation Review. Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin’s inability to oppose the anti-Kremlin governors or to create an alternative pro-Kremlin bloc was one of the main reasons why Yeltsin replaced him with Putin on August 9. The budgets of six regions (Altai Republic.: Rowman and Littlefield. In the autumn of 1998 Prime Minister Primakov invited eight regional leaders. the heads of regional economic associations. and Alexei Miller. 2003).” in Dale Herspring.” During this time many FSB officials were appointed as presidential representatives. Interview with Tatyana Nesterenko. ed. Sergei Mikheyev. As a kind of governors’ private club they never played any important role except for arranging regular meetings of regional leaders with senior government officials. Vladimir Kozhin. Kemerovo Oblast Governor Aman Tuleyev (allocation of additional funds to miners. 29. Dmitri Medvedev. German Gref. Later on. see Nikolai Petrov. 34. 31. February 22. minister of economic development and trade. 32. deputy prime minister and minister of finance.” Post-Soviet Geography. director of Gazprom-Media. 2000. 1. pp. 28. For more details on the federative reform and the military. See Nikolai Petrov. to the presidium of his government and started talking about the need to enlarge regions as the next presidential campaign approached in the spring of 1999. 1 (March 2002). Tatarstan enjoyed an extremely advantageous prolongation of all intergovernment agreements that were to have expired five years after the signing of the bilateral treaty). deputy head of the President’s Administration. chief economic adviser to the president. transfer of federally-owned shares into trust management). and above all republican. The 2000 Budget Law stipulated a gradual transition to a treasury system for regional budget implementation. Igor Sechin. secessionism. and Leonid Smirnyagin. pp. “Seven Faces of Putin’s Russia: Federal Districts as the New Level of State-Territorial Composition. and Krasnoyarsk Krai Governor Aleksandr Lebed (support in his fight against regional strongman Anatoly Bykov. Andrei Illarionov. deputy head of the President’s Administration and chairman of the board of Gazprom. 30. Presidential representatives were replaced in seventeen regions in January 2000 alone.” Security Dialogue.

36. 1–2 (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. including the courts.000 compared with 180. Many of the federal institutions. pp. minister of industry. 13–22. Second Europe-Asia Lecture. According to Novgorod Oblast Governor Mikhail Prusak’s estimates.. Sergei Ryzhenkov and Galina LuchterhandtMikhaleva. eds. Regiony Rossii v 1999 godu: Yezhegodnoe prilozhenie k ‘Politicheskomu al’manakhu Rossii’ [Russia’s Regions in 1998: a Yearly Appendix to the ‘Political Almanac of Russia’]. See Vladimir Gelman.: Princeton University Press.” Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics. 35. See also several publications by the Carnegie Moscow Center’s regional project. vol. Ilya Klebanov. N. head of the Auditing Chamber. 51. and the procuracy.000). including Kathryn Stoner-Weiss. 14. Sergei Ryzhenkov. 1999). Local Heroes: The Political Economy of Russian Regional Governance (Princeton. Sergei Stepashin. 2001). elections in thirty-three regions have had a turnout of less than 50 percent. Each region has dozens of federal institutions. 9 September 1996). Regiony Rossii v 1998 godu: yezhegodnoe prilozhenie k ‘politicheskomu al’manakhu Rossii’ [Russia’s regions in 1998: a yearly appendix to the ‘political almanac of Russia’] (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. 1998).Notes to pages 231–239 | 335 Mikhail Dmitriyev. Politika i cul’tura v Rossiiskoi provintsii [Politics and culture in the Russian province]. (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. while formally reporting to the center had long been “domesticated” by local elites and were fully dependent on. In terms of Yeltsin’s famous 1990 formula. minister of antimonopoly policy and entrepreneurship. including Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov. vol. Participants of the Institute of Humanitarian-Political Studies’ project to monitor political events in the regions have produced some studies. and Nikolai Petrov. and technology. first deputy minister of economic development and trade. no. taking too much sovereignty is easy. and Sergei Mironov.. in 1999 the oblast had eighty-seven federal institutions with a total staff twice that of the regional bureaucracy (380. 939–56. eds. science. Vladimir Gelman and Grigory Golosov. minister of health. no.J. the intellectual force behind this project. Nikolai Petrov. and Vladimir Gelman. Leonid Reiman. 2000). eds. 1–2 (March–June 1998). Uncertainty and Prospects for Democratization: The Politics of Russia’s Regions in a Comparative Perspective. and therefore loyal to. Vladimir Gelman. Valentina Matviyenko. Yuri Shevchenko.” EuropeAsia Studies. them. Chapter 10 1.. Ilya Yuzhanov. (Moscow: All World.. deputy prime minister. “Regime Transition. 31–53. (Moscow: Summer Garden. the Ministry of Security and Internal Affairs. no. including those published by Vladimir Gelman. Politicheskii al’manakh Rossii 1997 [Political Almanac of Russia]. and Michael Bri. American and British scholars have also written a number of books and articles on the subject. 34. 1999). ed. chairman of the Federal Securities Commission. and Dmitri Vasilyev. pp. speaker of the Federation Council. 33. minister of communications. “Regional Party System Formation in Russia: The Deviant Case of Sverdlovsk Oblast.. Rossiya Regionov: Transformatsiya Politicheskikh Rezhimov [Russia of the Regions: Transformation of Political Regimes]. . 6 (September 1999). ed. pp. Since 1998. Swallowing it is more difficult and digesting it is a tall order. “Regionalnyie rezhimy: zaversheniye transformatsii?” [Regional regimes: end of the transformation?] Svobodnaya Mysl’. vols.

Nikolai Petrov and Alexei Titkov calculated the initial scores for all the regions in the Carnegie Moscow Center’s monitoring system. 155–82. no. 10. In the case of notable differences between their ratings. 3 (April–May 2000). 11.” Post-Soviet Geography and Economics. pp. vol. 1.org. and L. Kolosov. 8. 607–34. additional experts with expertise in the region in question were consulted. 40. Freedom House’s annual assessments of democracy throughout the world can be found at www. “Regional Adaptation to Economic Crisis in Russia: The Case of Novgorod Oblast. D. 1999). U. 2002). 5. see Nikolai Petrov.regions. Petrov. 1990). turnout for gubernatorial elections was 1. N.” Soviet Geography. Peter Kirkow. 2. no. “The Westernization of a Russian Province: The Case of Novgorod. Pavlovskaya. 433–46. 8 (1998). 30. but may not necessarily be the case for regional elections. 3. This is especially true for federal-level elections. and Jeffrey Hahn. Regions Rossii 1998: Yezhegodnoe prilozhenie k ‘Politicheskomu al’manakhu Rossii’ [Russia’s regions in 1998: a yearly appendix to the ‘political almanac of Russia’] (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. After the Deluge: Regional Crises and Political Consolidation in Russia (Ann Arbor.2 times higher than for regional parliaments. vol. vol.C. and Daniel Treisman. “The Novgorod Region: A Russian Success Story. ed. 41.. Kolosov. Petersburg] October 16. 6. 335–53. no. In more complex cases of disagreement. They are also published regularly in the Journal of Democracy. 2002. Md. vol.” Post-Soviet Geography and Economics. and Kelly McMann and Nikolai Petrov. “The Geography of the 1989 Elections of Peoples Deputies of the USSR. Politicheskii al’manakh Rossii 1997 [Political Almanac of Russia]. Dmitri Zimin and Michael Bradshaw. Po rezul’tatam issledovanii Permskaya Oblast’ okazalas’ demokratichnee Moskvy i Sankt Peterburga. Vesna 89: Geografiya i anatomiya parlamentskikh vyborov [Spring of 89: the geography and anatomy of the parliamentary election]. V. [Studies show Perm Oblast is more democratic than Moscow and St. and V. 1999).K. Regional Russia in Transition: Studies from Yaroslavl (Baltimore. the . pp. 15.” Post-Soviet Affairs. pp. Russia’s Provinces: Authoritarian Transformation Versus Local Autonomy? (London: Macmillan Press. Turnout for elections in the seventy-five regions that were analyzed was 53. no. pp. pp. 8 (October 1989).2.1 percent for federal elections. A. eds. Mich.: Brookings Institute Press. vol.: Johns Hopkins University Press. (Moscow: Progress. N. In this case. Petrov. Mary McAuley. 4.” Post-Soviet Geography and Economics. 5 (1999). vol. V.freedomhouse. Negative voting may also be the last stage before complete voter alienation from election politics and an apathy that expresses itself in staying away from the polls.. www. Smirnyagin.: Cambridge University Press. 2001). 39. For a detailed analysis of the different levels of democratization in the national republics and the non-national Russian regions. 1998). and L. For some of the data compiled by the Carnegie Moscow Center. their scores were averaged.336 | Notes to pages 241–252 1997). “A Survey of Democracy in Russia’s Regions. pp. 7. Matthew Evangelista. Russia’s Politics of Uncertainty (Cambridge. 9. see Nikolai Petrov.: University of Michigan Press.8 percent compared with 66. V. Smirnyagin. Thus the value of the latter as a universal and simultaneous measurement is more limited. See A. no 3 (1999). See Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov. The coefficient calculated for all gubernatorial elections is 1. M. see Nikolai Petro. Blair Ruble and Nancy Popson. For other case studies.ru. 1997). Berezkin. 139–46. The Chechen Wars: Will Russia Go the Way of the Soviet Union? (Washington. that is. 235–61.

Shugart. social. which is why in some cases challengers who came in second in the first round won in the second round. See Joseph Schumpeter. Larry Diamond has raised the bar for qualifying as a democracy beyond elections and the turnover of power to the opposition.Notes to pages 254–256 | 337 resulting lower turnout is not a sign of the greater health of the democracy in question but signals the deteriorating health of that democracy. about three-quarters of the regions had only one round of elections. ballots without any marks. Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiyev. “Effective Number of Parties: A Measure with Application to Western Europe. “Elektoralnaya demokratiya i tselostnost politicheskogo prostranstva Rossii” [Electoral democracy and the unity of Russia’s political space]. 1 (April 1979). Grigory Golosov. 20–37. The effective number of candidates in gubernatorial elections is calculated similarly to the number of effective parties: the reverse of the sum of the squares of shares of votes received by each candidate.” Comparative Political Studies. Before a new federal law that allows only two rounds of gubernatorial elections was passed in 2002. 1.. arguing that “electoral democracies” are a lowerorder form of democracy or a less advanced stage of its development than consolidated advanced or “liberal democracies. 14. “Strannosti Rossiiskoi elektoralnoi kultury” [Peculiarities of Russian electoral culture]. Some have pointed to the key role of viable multiparty systems as central to such consolidation. professor at the European University in St. and a vital civil society. “Party Elites and Democratic Consolidation: Cross-National Comparison of Southern European Experience. 13. See Juan J. See Dmitri Oreshkin. and PostCommunist Europe (Baltimore. Md. and Democracy (New York: Harper and Row. and R. Linz and Alfred Stepan. pp. “Is the Third Wave Over?” Journal of Democracy. Zhurnal o Vyb- . 16. and even marketrelated criteria in their definition of consolidated democracy. 1996). Socialism. 12. attitudinal. vol. pp. pp. Joseph Schumpeter is most often credited with having established the minimalist standard of holding elections for a country to qualify as a democracy. who is a former member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Committee Politburo. 18.356 territorial electoral commissions took into account the following indicators: higher or lower turnout. ed. 1990). Pasquino. pp. vol. Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe. votes against all parties. 1976). see M. Conn. 40–55.: Johns Hopkins University Press. 1989). pp. the rule of law. legal. Taagapera and M.: Yale University Press. no. Golos Rossii. 15. no. cultural. Seats and Votes: The Effects and Determinants of Electoral Systems (New Haven. Securing Democracy: Political Parties and Democratic Consolidation in Southern Europe (London: Routledge. and North Ossetia President Aleksandr Dzasokhov. 13–22. higher winners’ results and winners’ margins. Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov. and civic institutions buttressing a strong democratic state. See Larry Diamond. South America. and votes in favor of party outsiders. 17.” which include the full panoply of political. The Mercator group rating of electoral manageability for eighty-nine regions and 2. Linz and Stepan include behavioral. Po rezul’tatam issedovanii Permskaya Oblast [Studies show Perm Oblast]. G. 7. 3–27. 2 (February 1999). See. chapters 22–23. vol. See Petrov. for example. 12. early voting in favor of parties that later dropped out of the race. Incumbent governors are much more likely to win in the first round when opposition votes are split. On the calculation of the effective number of parties. Dmitri Oreshkin. Taagapera. 3–15. Capitalism. invalid ballots. Petersburg.” in Geoffrey Pridham. no. 3 (July 1996). was the first to use this indicator in connection with Russian elections. Laakso and R.

7–33. vol. 1.ru. and Vladimir Tikunov and Darya Oreshkina. (Power in Russian regions)] Pro et Contra. 23. 22. 3. A Survey of Democracy. 61–65. July 2–8. In Soviet times a phrase was coined to stress the country’s enormous diversity: “It consists of parts as different as Finland and Afghanistan. For more on experts’ approaches toward democracy in the regions see McMann and Petrov. 1 (Winter 2000). 5–20. See McFaul and Petrov. The two partial expert evaluations show that the highest correlations with a rating based on electoral democracy are free and fair elections and elites. no. but Karelia can be compared with Finland and Kalmykia.. Dmitri Furman.800 to 2. “Ot Volnykh Ord do Khanskoi Stavki” [From free-roaming hordes to khanates. 25. the Public Opinion Foundation. In the first case. and in the second case they are equally high. 11–12 (March 2000). A lack of popularity and gravitas should not be attributed to a figure such as Leningrad Oblast Governor Valery Serdyukov. Tuva. 2 (February 2001). 24. the Center for Sociological Research at Moscow State University. no. Their research was . Available online at www.700 respondents in eleven or twelve subjects of the Russian Federation. pp. Darya Oreshkina.600 to 1.ru. Golos Rossii. and Nikolai Petrov. vol. 21. 15–17. vol. The authors have also used the results of polls conducted by other centers and institutes. pp. nos. 1998. and the sociological agency Monitoring. 20. no. “‘Upravlyayemaya demokratiya’: rossiisky variant” [Managed democracy: the Russian version] Ekspert. 2. and changes in a couple of them cannot influence the general picture. All these bodies typically use representative samples of 1. 2000). “Loyalny Khan Milee Khama (Ot Avtonomii idut k nezavisimosti)” [Better a loyal Khan than an insolent (from autonomy they go to independence)] Obshchaya gazeta. Rossiya v izbiratelnom tsykle 1999–2000 godov [Russia in the course of the 1999–2000 electoral cycle] (Moscow: Moscow Carnegie Center. 3 (Autumn 1998).338 | Notes to pages 256–268 orakh.mercator. pp. 19. 5. Nikolai Petrov. “A vse-taki oni upravlyayutsya” [They’re managed after all]. the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.” Contrasts within Russia are not as great. and Andrei Ryabov. eds. Why the bottom and the top regions are invariant with regard to weighting is clear. pp. no. The data presented here are the results of nationwide sociological monitoring of a representative sample of approximately 1. Chapter 11 1. vol. 28–33. “Federalizm po Rossiisky” [Federalism Russianstyle] Pro et Contra. all partial indexes are equally small and their changes do not affect the result much. 2 (February 2000). such as the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research (VTsIOM). pp. and the northern Caucasian republics to Central Asian states. who has shown himself a capable leader and won the support of the Kremlin and Putin. eds.200 respondents in all economic-geographic regions of Russia conducted by the Russian Independent Institute of Social and Nationalities Problems (RIISNP) in 1995–2000. See Mikhail Afanasyev.. Michael McFaul. Politicheskii almanakh Rossii 1997 [Political Almanac of Russia 1997]. once again underscoring the accuracy of deductive expert evaluations.

1995). 2000). 2001). On this point. For Russian society. Obshestvennoe mnenie Rossii: otchet o rezultatah issledovaniy v 2000–2001 gg. In particular. 10. the response “difficult to say” was not counted. February 9. 14.: Harvard University Press. January 23. 6. Mass. 2. Gorshkov. This quotation comes from one of the interviews the Moscow State University Department for Political Science project on Russians’ political priorities conducted in March 1993 before the April 1993 national referendum. 163–252. “Mneniya i nastroeniya. Sovremennaya Rossiya: massovoe soznanie i massovoe povedenie—opit integrativnogo analiza [Contemporary Russia: mass consciousness and mass behavior—the practice of integrated analysis] (Moscow: Moscow State University Press. Not all would agree with this assessment. 13. 391–572. Calif.: Hoover Institution Press. zhit stalo skuchnee” [All the same. 7. 4.ru” [Public opinion in Russia: a report on the results of studies in 2000–2001. Analiticheskaya xapiska” [Opinions and moods.ru” center] (Moscow: Moscow State University Publishers. 139. Lev Gudkov and Boris Dubin. 91–121. Demokraticheskie tranziti: teoretikometodologicheskie aspekti [Democratic transits: theoretical-methodological aspects] (Moscow: Moscow Public Science Foundation. 77.” 9. pp. Ot mneniy k ponimaniyu: sociologicheskie ocherki. 2 (April–June 2002). Otchet ob issledovaniyah tsentra “monitoring. Ibid. Rossiyskomu obshestvu zhit stalo huzhe. In those cases where the sum of the answers is less than 100 percent. See M. 3. 8. The studies were done as a nationwide representative sampling of people from twelve social and professional groups. 13.Notes to pages 269–274 | 339 conducted between 1990 and 2000. 138. see Andrei Melvil. no. 1993–2000 [From opinion to understanding: sociological accounts. Yuri Levada. “Are Russians Undemocratic?” Post-Soviet Affairs. pp.. Report on the studies of the “monitoring. 1997). 2001. p. See Timothy Colton and Michael McFaul. An analytic note. 2000). 2000. 1999). The RNIISP conducted this study in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. life has become worse and life has become boring] Itogi. The actual question asked in the survey was “Would you fight on to the final destruction of the political and national enemy. see Michael McFaul. Colton and McFaul report similar results. 2000). “Grazhdane Rossii: kem oni sebia oshushayut i v kakom obshestve hoteli bi zhit?” [Russian citizens: who do they perceive themselves to be and in what society would they like to live?] in Rossiya na Ruzbezhe vekov [Russia on the brink of centuries] (Moscow: Russian Independent Institute of Social and Nationalities Problems and Russian Political Encyclopedia.] Nezavisimaya Gazeta (section NG-Scenarii). For a detailed overview. . V. S. For elaboration. 1993–2000] (Moscow: Moscow School of Political Studies. 12. January 2000. Russia’s 1996 Presidential Election: The End of Polarized Politics (Stanford. 11. p. the figures may total to more than 100 percent in cases where respondents could give more than one answer. pp. “Vse edino. see Nikolai Petro. Yuri Levada. vol. 5. p. This chapter makes wide use of data from the RIISNP’s 1995–2000 sociological studies. ed. Yanvar 2000 g.. Tumanov. The Rebirth of Russian Democracy: An Interpretation of Political Culture (Cambridge. In the tables. p. 18.

See Colton and McFaul. “Politicheskie tsennosti i orientatsii i politicheskie institute” [Political values and orientations and political institutions] in Lilia Shevtsova. 23.. 1 (January 1994). ed. Rossiya na rubezhe vekov [Russia on the brink of centuries] (Moscow: Russian Independent Institute of Social and Nationalities Problems and Russian Political Encyclopedia. 162. Rossiya v zerkale reform. 136–194. “Delegative Democracy. p. 81. 26. “Demokraticheskie instituti i obshestvennoe mnenie v postsovetskoy Rossii” [Democratic institutions and public opinion in post-Soviet Russia] in T. 1999] (Moscow: Logos. Igor Klyamkin and Lilia Shevtsova. 21. Rossiya politicheskaya [Political Russia]. Ibid. Rossiya na rubezhe vekov [Russia on the brink of centuries]. p. p. Herman Diligensky. 163. “Sovremennie obshestvenno-politicheskie preobrazovaniya v masshtabe socialnogo vremeni” [Contemporary public and political transformations on the scale of social time] Sotsis. 1 (1998). 12. 22. p. Guillermo O’Donnell. 2000. Colton and McFaul found a similar utopian quality to the regime most Russians preferred. V. November 25. 325–419. 21. These data characterize the situation in the 1990s. I. 1995). 6–32.. Andrei Melvil. pp. Kuda idet Rossiya? Materiali mezhdunarodnogo simpoziuma 15–16/01/1999 [Where is Russia going? Materials from the international symposium January 15–16. Nekotorie osobennosti politicheskogo razvitiya sovremennoy Rossii [The extra-systemic regime of Boris II: some features of political development in post-Soviet Russia] (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. 18. 28. Leonid Gordon and Eduard Klopov. pp. 253–324. pp. 56–69. 17. Rossiya na rubezhe vekov [Russia on the brink of centuries]. Vnesistemniy rezhim Borisa II. A. Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov. ed. 1998). p. 10 (Moscow: Center for Complex Social Research and Marketing. Lapkin. p. 1999). Lapkin. Kalashnikov.. ed. pp. See Ronald Inglehart. no. 4 (1997). when anti-American feelings were especially high because of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. pp. Zaslavskaya. “Sovremenniy politicheskiy process i ustanovki na politicheskoe uchastie” [Contemporary political process and instructions on political par- . 29.. 30. 31. “Chego ne khvataet Nemstam? Postyubileynie zametki o sovremennoy germanskoy zhizni” [What do the Germans lack? Post-anniversary notes on contemporary German life] Nezavisimaya Gazeta. 19. vol. “Rossiya o sudbah Rossii v XX veke i svoih nadezhdah na novoe stoletie” [Russia on the fates of Russia in the 20th century and its hopes for the new century] in M. no. “Postmodern: Menayushiyesia tsennosti i izmenayushiyesia obshestva” [Postmodern: changing values and changing societies] Polis. 24. 5. Gorshkov. 16. 21. 27. Gorshkov. 7–46. M. 20.340 | Notes to pages 275–282 15. 2000) pp. “Are Russians Undemocratic?” 25. (Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center. Chepurenko. 1999). Sheregi. p. Obshestvennoe mnenie Rossii: Otchet o rezultatah issledovaniy v 2000-2001 [Public opinion in Russia: a report on the results of studies in 2000–2001]. V. “Demokraticheskiye instituti i obshestvennoye mnenie” [Democratic institutions and public opinion]. 8. F.” Journal of Democracy. no. “Politicheskoe razvitie Rossii v perehodniy period” [Political development in Russia in the transition period] in Politicheskiy process v Rossii: sovremennie tendencii i istoricheskiy kontekst [Political process in Russia: contemporary tendencies and historical context] Political Science Series no. eds.

November 20. 35. 41. 1999). no. 36. 2001). (Moscow: Coincidence. V Rossii zavershilos stanovlenie ‘narodnoy monarhii’” [New vessels have filled old wine. 2 (2000). vol. L. no. Yeltsin’s Russia (Washington. D. and Alexei Pichugin. Human Rights Watch. See also Lilia Shevtsova. 43. “Russia’s ‘Spy Mania’: A Study of the Case of Igor Sutyagin. pp. Platon Lebedev. Politicheskie kulturi i socialnie izmeneniya: mezhdunarodnie sravneniya [Political culture and social changes: international comparisons]. “Diktatorskiy liberalizm ili diktatura zakona” [Dictatorial liberalism or dictatorship of the law] Izvestiya. V. The establishment of a ‘people’s monarchy’ is concluded] Obshaya Gazeta. November 2003. 11. 2000. “Formirovanie politicheskogo soznaniya v novom socialno-ekonomicheskom kontekste” [Formation of political consciousness in the new socioeconomic context] Moscow Carnegie Center seminar paper no.K. 30–41. 38. U. pp. 40. and P. 2003. pp. Lev Gudkov and Boris Dubin. “Russia Under Putin: One Step Forward. Dmitri Furman.” The American Prospect.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Demokratiya v vospriyatii Rossiyskogo obshestva” [The perception of democracy in Russian society] Moscow Carnegie Center seminar paper no. 2 (March 2001). Seth Mydans. 3. Vladimir Mau and Irina Staradubrovskaya. “Constitutional and Due Process Violations in the Khodorkovsky/Yukpos Case. The Challenge of Revolution: Contemporary Russia in Historical Perspective (Oxford. “What Russia teaches us now: how weak states threaten freedom. p. 2000. For alarmist assessments. 19–33. Chapter 12 1. [Social and economic changes: monitoring public time] no. V. Fedotova. Vladimir Petukhov. “Novie sosudi zapolnili staroe vino. 266.” White Paper prepared by defense lawyers on behalf of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. 21. V. Avraamova. 2. October 2003. p. vol. December 30. Two Steps Backward. p. 33 (July–August 1997). “Rare Russian Jury Acquits Scientist in Spy Case.C. 8.: Oxford University Press. 39. 2001). pp. November 9–15. Rukavishnikov.” New York Times. 5 (July 2001). 325–419.” Journal of Democracy. 37.” Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper. see Michael McFaul. E. “Kriminalizatsiya Rossii” [The criminalization of Russia] Svobodnaya Misl. 5–6. 1997). A7.Notes to pages 284–294 | 341 ticipation] in Rol gosudarstva v razvitii obshestva: Rossiya i mezhdunarodniy opit [The role of the state in society’s development: Russia and international experience] (Moscow: RIISNP and Friedrich Ebert Foundation Moscow Branch. Boris Kapustin. 1 (Moscow: Interdisciplinary Academic Center for the Social Sciences and VTsIOM. 32. Rossiya na rubezhe vekov [Russia on the brink of centuries]. Steven Holmes. p. 38–39. Halman. Ester. 33. no. 189. pp. 1998). . 42. “Konetz 90h godov: zatuhanie obraztsov” [The end of the 90s: fading ideals] in Socialnie i ekonomicheskie peremeni: monitoring obshestvennogo vremeni. According to VTsIOM’s summer 2000 survey data. 3 (July 2000). 34.

This is a worrisome development that calls into question Russia’s fundamental willingness to meet European and international standard for democratic elections. at www. Popular Choice and Managed Democracy: The Russian Elections of 1999 and 2000 (Washington. At the same time. stressing that “the State Duma elections failed to meet many OSCE and Council of Europe commitments for democratic elections. January 16. See “Yabloko osporit v sude rezul’taty parlamentskikh vyborov.DTL.ru. 8.” Lenta.com/cgi-bin/article. . Yabloko and Communist Party leaders charged that government authorities falsified the result of the December 2003 vote.fairgame.7 percent. For details. “Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions. December 6. For the first time ever.ru/vybory/2004/01/16/yabloko_Printed. “Russians Believe Election Fixed. 6.pdf. In addition.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/12/06/MNGKJ3HPJB1. evidence suggests that voters have become less enamored with the actual process.lenta.htm. sparking claims of falsification.org/documents/odihr/2003/12/1629_en.” December 7. see Anna Badkhen. See www. D.ru. 2004. Turnout in 2003 dropped by ten percentage points. Russian Federation State Duma Elections. Citing their parallel vote count results. important safeguards in domestic legislation were not enforced by the Russian authorities. 57% in Poll Say They Mistrust Sunday’s Vote for Parliament.” OSCE/PA (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe/Parliamentary Assembly) International Election Observation Mission.sfgate. Note that exit polls and unofficial parallel vote counts showed both parties winning more than 5 percent. On the expectations about falsification. the total vote for against all parties climbed to 4. at www. 5. 2003). and an amazing 57 percent of respondents reported in an opinion poll before the vote that they expected falsification of the results.C.: Brookings Institution Press.osce. 2003. the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) issued a critical preliminary report on Russia’s 1999 parliamentary election. see Timothy Colton and Michael McFaul. 7.” San Francisco Chronicle.342 | Notes to pages 295–296 4. 2003. The full report is available at www. Yabloko has pressed for a legal investigation.

election ratings. 175 Arkhangelskaya. regional constitution. 16–17. 328n109 Altai. 263t. democratization rating. 289 All-National Congress of the Chechen People. 200. 259t. 258t. 327n96 Astrakhanskaya. 40. election ratings. 259t. 41 Argumenty i Fakty. 244t. 169–70. 262. 263t Armenia. 166. 121 Alekseev. 222. 246t. 116. dissolution of the KGB. 183 Andrei Sakharov Foundation. 245t. 248. public protest. Lyudmila. 159 Aleksii II. constitutional amendments. 265t. 309n45. election ratings. voter turnout. 1993 parliamentary elections. 219 All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research. 79. Viktor. harassment. 265t American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFLCIO). democratization rating. 258t. 272–73. 168 All-Russian Emergency Conference for Environmental Protection. 248. dissolution of the Soviet Union. 266 Agrarian Party of Russia. 32–33. election ratings. 247t. Patriarch. 108. 265t. 245t. 323n35. 163. 215. election ratings. founding elections. 127. 135. 267 The Anatomy of Free Speech. 246t. 130 Alekseeva. 313n45. 148 343 . 328n104 Anpilov. democratization rating. 259t. 72 Aga-Buryatsky. 131.Index Adygeya. 247t. 264t. 262. 31 Association of Forced Settlers of Suzdal. democratization rating. democratization rating. 251 Altaysky. 115t. 254. election ratings. NTV takeover. 273t. assessments of Yeltsin. 338–39n1. 257. Sergei. 318–19n61. 165 Amurskaya. democratization rating. 33. 169–71 August 1991 attempted coup. democratization rating. competitiveness in elections. 264t Atomic Energy Ministry. 37. 262. under Putin. 205. election ratings. 257. 39. 1995 parliamentary elections.

declaration of independence. characteristics of. 245t. 180–81. 214. nationalist movements. 334n32. 47. 220. 297. 1999 war. rejection of federalism. 271. 327nn95–96 Civic Union. 196 Buryatia. by Yeltsin. democratization rating. 137–38 Blagoveschensk. 324n44 Chukotka. 72. 257. 189. firing of. elections. 31. election ratings. alienation of the middle and lower classes. 263t Chubais. 72. Dmitri. 45. 245t. 283–85. 222. 294. 327n97 borders. democratization rating. 244t. 96–97. 248. 297. 294. 167 autocracy in Russia. 263t. 159–60. 264t. Federal Treaty. 8. 219. 185 Berman. 1994–1996 war. 231 Chernomyrdin. 300nn15–16. 324n52. 77–78. 266. 54 Bogdanov. 1999 parliamentary elections. . party affiliations. expert evaluations of democratization. 70. election ratings. Shamil. Leonid. Viktor. Putin era. 146. democratization rating. Fyodor. 219. 111. 265t Berezovsky. 332n15. 219 Chechen wars. 90. 240. declaration of sovereignty. 113. All-National Congress of the Chechen People. 47. 228. 44. Boris. 262. 294. 11 Brezhnev. 248. regional constitution. removal of governors. 41–42. 7. calls for peace talks. 13. election manipulation. declaration of sovereignty. 182. political structure. 248. democratization rating. election ratings. 20. Viktor. Khasavyurt accord. election ratings. 246t. as Yeltsin’s prime minister. See oligarchy Carey. Sheri. democratization rating. 262. Vsevelod. 229. 183 Checheno-Ingushetia. democratization rating. 186. Anatoly. 336n4 Center for Sociological Research. electoral violation data. split with Ingushetia. 218. privatization. 19. 219–21. 264t.344 | Index Aushev. 257. See also oligarchy Ayatskov. democratization rating. 54 Cherkesov. 307n23. Sergei. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. 265t. democratization ratings. 338–39n1 Center on Law and the Mass Media. 259t. 265t Chukotsky. 151–52. 314n13. constitutional conflicts. media criticism of. 219. 99 Belarus. democratization rating. 254 Chuvashia. regional powers. 1990 elections. 273–74 Bryansk. 244t. election ratings. participation in elections. 178. 189. 135–73. 108. 13. 218–21. regional constitution. democratization rating. 77. 293–94 Bashkortostan. Ruslan. 42. Caucasus region. 143–44. 256–57. Federal Treaty. 54. election ratings. 4. 257 Baburin. John. 165–66. 41 Baltic republics. removal of governors. 13 Belgorodskaya. 192. 124. 101. 293–94. 110. Sibneft ownership. 247t. 183. 210. 244t. 309n45. media ownership. 72 business class. 264t Civic Forum. human rights. 44. 324n52. Russell. 247t. 151–52. election ratings. 167–68. 165. 241 Basayev. 248. 219. 5. 217 Bova. 324n52 Chitinskaya. 1995 parliamentary elections. 249. Gazprom. 218–19. 242–43. 3. 294. 54 Burlatsky. election ratings. 219 Chelyabinsk. 324n44 civil society. electoral competition. 259t. 193 Chechnya. 45. 5. 68. 68 Carnegie Moscow Center. 218. 221. terrorist acts.

323n26. 327nn95–96. 1989 elections. Soviet era organizations. Kremlin-sponsored groups. 306n14. 102–3. 95. 112t. end of monopoly under Gorbachev. 33–34. 57–58. welfare safetynet. 321n10. 324n44. 95. 140–41. 161. 133 Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). 322n18. 1989 elections. definitions. 1999 parliamentary elections. funding. 27–31. 156. judicial reforms. Civic Forum. grassroots. 135. 36. 167–68. 161. 171–72. nationalist groups. 139. Duma representation. economic factors. 305n77. Nineteenth All-Union Party Conference. 149–59. 143–44. party formation. 143–44. 172. Constitutional Commission of 1990. 306n14. responses to Putin. 170–72. 142–45. 139. 328nn111–12. 167. 169–71. taxation. 108. 158. 205. role of intelligentsia. conflicts with Yeltsin. 327–82nn95–98. 196–97. 41 competitive authoritarianism. 196–97 Communist–Working Russia–for the Soviet Union. 62. 136. 163–64. 122. 145–48. nuclear safety movement. 309n45. 2003 parliamentary elections. Putin era. in Poland. 171–72. 146. obstacles to development. 169–71. 321n6. during the August Republic. 161–62. 158. 342nn7–8. 43–45. media independence. 34–37. 116. 172. 165–66. 168. Declaration of Sovereignty of 1990. role of the state. 140–41. 158–59. 142–48. 37. 326n69. 146. 167. Brezhnev era. 110–14. 25. 300n16 Congress in Defense of Human Rights. 200. 325n65. youth movement. 167–68. 139. 121–22. 136–42. 158. 162 coalitions. 153–55. weakness. constitutional role. . 1990 elections. 41–42. 141–42. 171–72. public opinion. 137–38. legal status. 19–20. 205–6. 139. power. 328n104 Congress of People’s Deputies (CPD). 295. 161–62. 20. 39. 322n13. 296. role of the presidency. legislative alliances. 1991 presidential election. 328n98. 150. horizontal impact. 136. 136. declaration of independence. regional representation. 152–59. historical view. 29. 168–69. 328nn108–12.Index | 345 284t. 137–38. Khordokovsky arrest. 24–25. 165. 210. state-supported. 17–18. 162–63. 136. 57–62. 145. 216–17. founding elections. registration requirements. 115t. 323n39. 46–48. 17. 171–72. 27. 7. human rights movement. in Weimar Germany. 172–73. religious groups. 234–35. 118. 153–54. vertical impact. 141. opposition to the CPSU. 159–60. single-mandate districts. 157–58. Congress in Defense of Human Rights. emergence of political parties. participation rates. 156–57. nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). rule of law. 321n3. emergence. 281t. 121. 139–40. dissidents of the Soviet Union. 159–72. 160–61. 131. 155. 1996 presidential election. role in central government. 167–72. antiwar movements. 119–22. 317n44. 322n23. rule of law. 1995 parliamentary elections. 217. trade unions. 161–62. oligarchy. need for centralization. 120. friendship networks. 328n104. 20. 108. role in elections. dissolution by Yeltsin. 1993 parliamentary elections. twoparty system. 90–91. 136. 179–80. role in regional government. 147. Yeltsin era. See electoral blocs Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF). 150–52. 58. engrained mistrust of institutions. 136. 138. 139. 14–15. 87–91. 210. 31–32. Gorbachev era. founding elections. 281. environmental movement. 206–7. socioeconomic factors. 115t. role of the oligarchy. 120.

322n13. 295–96. 224. 30–31. 119–22. political parties. 112 Council of the Heads of Administration. 257. 248. 246t. 319n71. 32. See Russian Constitution Constitutional Assembly. role in regional government. 120. 65. 264–65. 9–10. 224. 86. 306n6. 112. 239–67. 279–83. 69. political conflicts. 23. election ratings. 228. 74–79. 310n59. 86. Benjamin. 1999 parliamentary elections. 115. 157. 2003 parliamentary elections. 224. 225t. 334n32 Dorenko. 146. 303n2. 2–5. 78–79 Council of Nationalities. 342n5. 225t CPD. 36–39. 310n59. 146 Council of Judges of the Russian Federation. 292–98. 234t. Boris. Yeltsin’s chairmanship. See Congress of People’s Deputies (CPD) CPRF. 146. Putin’s use of military force. 272 Duma. ethnicity concerns. paternalism. 2–3. 58. 312n32. 40–43. 10–14. 113. 244–47t. Mikhail. 31–32 Defense Council. federalist structures. 224. challenges to Soviet rule. 129–31. 1999 Chechen war. electoral democracy. 258–59t. 116 Democratic Party of Russia. Council of the Duma. 7–9. 63–65 Constitutional Court. 109–15. Yeltsin’s lack of support for. 145 Democratic Russia. 229. 130–31. 223. role of elites. 109–15. demonstrations during 1990-1991. role of democrats. 309n45. 269–78. 342nn7–8. 333n19. 42. future. 115t. 7–8. cooperation with Putin. voter turnout. 250–51. 265t. 115. 46–48. 277t. ratings. 112t. 1996 presidential election. selection of delegates. electoral system. liberal democracy. 262. 2–7. 3. 2–5. 249–53. 274t. 231–35. 264. 58 declarations of independence. 94. public values. 167–68. 119. regional ratings. 249. 1–2. under the Soviet Constitution. 333n19 Council of the Duma. 1995 parliamentary elections. 33. historical comparisons. 263–65t. conditions for democracy. See Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Dagestan. regional elections. 41 Diamond. 273t. 337n16 Dmitriyev. 261t. constitutional powers. antiwar movement. 300n11. political block affiliations. 225t Council of the Heads of Republics. analysis of. 9. 160. 112t. 119. initial push theory. 1995 parliamentary elections. subsidies from the central government. 307n21. 309n45. 148. 113. 259t. 150 Democratic Union. Sergei. vii–viii. 93 Constantine Palace. 317n40. 147 democratization. urban regions. restoration under Gorbachev. 205 Constitutional Democratic Party. 69. foreign policy efforts. 315n13. 225t Council of the Republics. 120. 45. See Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) CPSU. political party development. 276t. 342n4. 232t. NTV takeover. . 1990 elections. 112t. 2. democratization rating. 1993 parliamentary elections. 68–69 Democratic Choice of Russia. 126. 47 Dubin. 308n32. 248–49 Derzhava. 239–67. Larry. 5–7.346 | Index 333n19. correlation matrix. election ratings. outsider group. 302n39. 115. 41 Constant. 120. managed democracy. 168. 102. 146 Democratic Perestroika. definitions of democracy. measurements. 293–94. 148 Congress of Russian Communities. 126. 231 constitution. 251 Declaration of Sovereignty of 1990. 112t. 119–22.

204–5. 320n77. regional budgets. media control. Iosif. 1999-2001 cycle. 169–70 Ecology and Human Rights organization. 183. oligarchy. 23–26. 44. 310n58. Yeltsin impeachment. 181–83. property rights. . 207–8. 217. depression. boycotts. 97–101. 180. 18. 23. 18. 317n44. 309n45. proportional representation. corruption. 306n5. 209. 136. minority group participation. 6–7. 249–53. 161 economic factors. 23. 150. 297. 128. 261t. 261t. 120. 6. 306n14. 263–65t. 1989 congressional elections. 19. role of the oligarchs. 130–31. 46–52. 46–48. manipulation and fraud. 121. 13. 2000 presidential election. 108. 108. 195–99. 205–6. Gorbachev era. role in appointing prime ministers. 342n5. 26. 270–72 Ekho Moskvy. 108. 284. 226. 204. 54. 336n11. 39. 108–9. 229. 180. 1995 parliamentary elections. 154–55. 118. 295–96. 19. elimination of state bureaucracy. political party development. 2–4. 324n44. 1996 regional elections. 113. 115t. 49. 249–53. campaign funding limits. 35–36. 220. 41–42. 38. currency. interest groups. 285. 139. 25. 178 Eckstein. 48–49. 100 Dzyaloshinsky. 229. political party participation. 308n41. 120–21. 112t. 309n45. 337n13. 25. 217. 33–40. 129–31. 219. 1991 referendum. 306n14. 113. 151–52. 27. 158. 42. 154. budget deficits. 2003 parliamentary elections. 249–53. 310n59. 342n5. 334n28. mixed electoral systems. 269. middle classes. Harry. Yeltsin era reforms. 342nn7–8. 123. 155–56. 258–59t. decline of basic services. 308n37. 92–94. 107–16. 295. 45. 43–45. 127. 1996 presidential election. 23. 3–4. 26–33. proportional representation. 23. 269. 310n59. 29–31. 139. 249–53. 122. 122. Gorbachev’s reforms. presidential elections. 47. 108. 342n4. 109–15. 92. 115. 56. 31–32. 156. 205–6. 47. 40–46. 37. 121–22. 178. negative voting. 91. 112t. 308–9n41. 23. 128. 94–95. 240–41. 307n21. 2004 presidential election. 1993 referendum on the constitution. August 1998 financial crisis. 146. 130–31. 250–51. 310n59. 34. 11–12. public preferences for stability. international standards. democratization ratings. 74. income statistics. 1999 parliamentary elections. 45–46. 216–17. 36–39. financial manipulation. privatization. 249–53. 28. 31–32. 46. 115–16. 181–82 elections. 1993 parliamentary elections. 65. protections of civil liberties. 45. 183. 145–48. class mobility. 25. 43–44. 49. 85.Index | 347 power. 117–18. small business problems. 175. 25. media independence. 6. taxation. 114–15. electoral systems. 39. 307n24. 24. 54. 85. 151–54. 29–30. 40–43. 261t. 1990 regional elections. 113. 25. 119–22. 24. certainty of outcomes. development of civil society. 54. candidates/competition. 308–9n41. 129–31. 102. 342n5. 148. 25. 27–29. 310n58. 153–54. 218. 1991 presidential election. 8. 126–27. 38. 84–85. 153–54. 156. 119. 1995-1997 cycle. 16 Ecojuris. 308n32. 115. 16–17. 83. 18–19. 51. 145. 88. 270–72. 317n40. 154. 95. 230. 261t. 295–96. 307–8n30. 59. 57–58. 307n23. 108. civil society. 222–23. 42. 342n5. 17. local elections. 342nn7–8. 1993-1994 founding elections. Chechen wars. 73. 250–51. single-mandate districts. 24. 250–51. 313n9. 37. 146. 119–22. 162–63. 53–54. 28–30. 295–96.

234t. 223. single-mandate districts. 221–22. 145. representation at the federal level. 138. 103–4. 99–100. 335n36. nationalist movements. 29. removal of incumbents. Putin era. 99. 109. 307–8n30. under the Soviet Union. regional governments. Boris. 88. See also human rights ethnicity. timetables. 295–96. 109. 238 Federal Forestry Service. rebellions against. Russian Constitution Federal Law on the Basic Principals Underlying State Power Organization. 256–57. 337n15. 225t. See minority concerns Eurasia movement. 122. 34. 308n37. 225t. 213–38. 214–15. 37–38. 111. membership. 224. 52. merger with Unity. 49–54. 224. 99–100. 108. Soviet era. 1995 Chechen war. 24. 221–23. 46. 238. 99. Yeltsin era. 310n57. 216–17. Yegor. harassment of civil society. 1999 clash with Yeltsin. 231–35. See oligarchy equality. 314n18. Gorbachev era. Putin era. 4. 306n2 freedoms. 166 Evenkiisky. oblasts. 42–43. 112–14. 328n104 founding elections. 261t. 238. 226. 219. See presidency Fatherland-All Russia (OVR) coalition. confirmation of executive appointments. 120–21. 241–43. Federation Council. asymmetry. 234t. 314–15n5. 64. 216–18. 222–23. 249–53. 212 executive office. 332n8. 294. 114–15. 58. 332n12. voter turnout. 232t. krais. 112t. voter turnout. arrests. 33–48. 219–21. 120. 71–73. 228. 216–17. 7. 69. 109. rule of law. 71–73. 226. 132–33. 121. 48. 92. 226–27. historical aspects. Steven. 249–53. 26. 300n17. 106. Putin’s manipulation of. 336n9. 1993 elections. 100 Federal Security Service. 169–71 federalism. 213–15. 25. 229. 288 Fish. elections. 227–35. 77–78. 231–35. central institutions. 70–71. 52. 42–43. Putin era. Putin era. regional elections. 80. 332n14. 160–64. 224. powers. 321n10 FNPR. 99. Valentina. See also political parties elites. 310n57. 93–94. and okrugs. 4. Federal Treaty of March 1992. 48–55. 65. 285–86 Fyodorov. 103–4. 332n10. See Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR) For Human Rights. 115t. 310n58. 217–18. 129. See also political parties electoral blocs. constitutional structure. 70–71. 307n16. 332n11. 115. 112–14. 99–100. 203. 247t. 4. 99. 99–100. 219. 215. 218–23. See FSB (Federal Security Service) Federation Council. 309n45 . 224. 232t. by correlation matrix. democratization rating. 231 Furman. 332n11. 261t. lack of electoral mandate. 251 executive agencies. 128. 333n22 Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR). See human rights FSB (Federal Security Service). 310n57. 336nn9–10. 23. 73. 223–27. 333n22. 70. 317n40. lobbying role. 94. 261t. 295. 214–15. political parties. 318n49. 255–56. 264t. ratings. 310n55. Dmitri. election of members. 332n7. ethnicity concerns. 45–46. 121. 225t. presidential control of. 123. 24. 108 Gaidar.348 | Index 129–30. 151. 20. Yeltsin era. 1999 parliamentary elections. 218–19. 335n36. 307–8n32 Freedom House ratings. 216–17. 132–33. 20. 115–16. 205–6. 49–52. 218–19. state influence in. 248. 33–40. 166 Fedotova. See also Federation Council. 115t. 23. 38. constitutional role. 42. election ratings. 308n32.

181–82. split with Chechnya. 146. 234t. 32–33. Vladimir. 21 Gudkov. 29. 278–80. 258t. 279. 44. 1991 elections. dissolution of the KGB. 138. rule of law. 272 Gusinsky. 145–48. 1990-1991 regional elections. regional constitution. vii. Sergei. reforms/perestroika. 16–17. 323n35. 244t. Ivan. e. 251 Institute for Political Studies. 192. 213–15. role of soviets. 214. 323n35. 160–61. 324n52. 161. Vyacheslav. Mikhail. removal from office. 195–99. 182 Gelman. 145–48. 142–45. 201–2. 189 Ivanov. election ratings. 185 Greenpeace. Svyazinvest. 215. 328n104 Glasnost Public Foundation. media independence. 189 Inglehart. Robert. Union Treaty. local self-rule. 57–58. 72. democratization rating. 16. 135. 57–63 Hitler. 328n104 Glaziev. 327n96 Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 4. 220. Adolf. 247t. Vitaly. 67–68 Gorbachev. 160. 146. democratic ideals. 185–86. Marc Morje. Sergei. 157–58 human rights. 85–87. Azerbaijan action. 327n95 Gromov. 276. 262. 218 Gordon. 276t Goskomtsen. 65. Viktor. paternalism. 62 Itogi. 265t. federal structures. civil society. Lev. 262. 205. 148. 320n79 Grozny. 87. 168. Ivan. electoral competition. 216–17. 271 interest groups. 69 Howard. 205. 84–87. 161. 203. 162. media privatization.g. 307n23. 100–101 Georgia. creation of the presidency. civil society. 84–85. Sergei. 201–2 Ilyumzhinov. 317n38. political parties. 265–66 . 327n96 Institute of Civil Society Problems. 266 Information Security Doctrine. 338–39n1 institutions. 229. August 1991 attempted coup. constitutional modifications. voter turnout. 145. Andrei. 172.Index | 349 Gazprom. 74. 266. 270. 135. 28. 315n16 Illarionov. Stephen. election manipulation. 1989 parliamentary elections. 331n3 Ignatenko. Vladimir. 31–32. 1991 presidential election. 231 Ivanovskaya. 147. federalism. Russian Constitution. 297. 254. 189–90. democratization rating. 216–17. democratic tradition. 200. Pavel. 195–99. 294. glasnost. Vladimir. federalism. rule of law. 328n104. media ownership. democratization rating. 279–80. 334n32 Ilyin. Leonid. 269. Stephen. Baku. 205–6 Grachev. 31 Glasnost Defense Foundation. 165. 205. 85. 175–77. 57–58. 220. 219. 54. 167–68. 263t Isakov. 306n14. Kirsan. 85. Harry. 296 Glinski. 74. See specific institution. 185–86 Hanson. establishment of presidency and executive branch. 245t. 259t. 24. 206 Gosplan. See civil society Irkutsk. 193. 166 Igrunov. 248. election ratings. Dmitri. 138 Holmes. 205–6 Gossnab. 146–47. Putin’s takeover of NTV. 168. 175–77. 287 Hopkins. 26–31. 31. 277t. 127. 169–70 Grigorants. 273–74. 181–82. 160. 14–15. 263t. 231 Ivanov. 280 Ingushetiya. 303n52. Boris. media holdings. 8 historical roots. election ratings. 271. 218–19. 117–19. presidency intelligentsia. 232t. 175–76.

248. election ratings. 258. 248. regional constitution. jury system. 10 Kasyanov. See also FSB (Federal Security Service) Khabarovsky. 54. Supreme Court Kabardino-Balkaria. 259t. Putin era. 259t. 249. election ratings. Mikhail. 259t. 192. 265. 63. 264t Korzhakov group. 258t. Sergei. 266. electoral competition. 246t. 205. 222–23. 219. election manipulation. 262. Ilya. 247t. 209. democratization rating. 245t. democratization rating. 175. 254 Khakassia. democratization rating. declaration of sovereignty. 219. election ratings. 186 Kirovskaya. 222. Kalmykiya. 197. 224–26. 294–97 Kiriyenko. election ratings. 254 Khasbulatov. 218. Russian Constitution. Soviet reforms. 263t. 208–9. See also law enforcement. Ruslan. 182. 276. 254 KGB (Committee for State Security). 72 Kaluzhskaya. 335n33 Klopov. 162. 266 Kapustin. 211. electoral competition. regional constitution. 64. 78. election ratings. election ratings. 209. democratization rating. 263t. Mikhail. 266. 75–78. 264t . 276t Kokh. election ratings. 187 Jehovah’s Witnesses. 209–12. 251 Kaliningrad. electoral competition. Russian Constitutional Court. 325n59. 96 Khordokovsky. contradictory legislation. 264. 1991 reforms. 189. 169 Kissinger. 101. democratization rating. 254. need for qualified judges. 265t. 293. Criminal Code. 209. 264t journalists. 257. 265. 245t. 244t. democratization rating. democratization rating. 246t. democratization rating. 245t. election ratings. 262. Terry. 334n32 Komi. election ratings. 97. 222. 265t. Sergei. voter turnout. 2–3. 34. 254. election ratings. 264t Kommersant-Daily. 243. 195–212. 171–72 Jewish Autonomous Oblast. 215. 262. 212. 205–6. 263t Kamchatka. 247t. 244t. 222. 223. political structure. declaration of sovereignty. electoral competition. democratization rating. 4. Henry. 155. election ratings. Alfred. 263t Karl. 243. rule of law. 286 Karachaevo-Cherkessia. 54. Pacific Fleet Military Court. 111.350 | Index Izhevsk. regional constitution. 265t. 180. democratization rating. 263t. 244t. democratization rating. 72. 109 Kazakhstan. election ratings. democ- ratization rating. 248. protection of rights. democratization rating. 246t. election ratings. Boris. 77–78. 69 Klebanov. 258t. 151. 54 Izvestiya. independence. 257. 245t. election ratings. See media judicial system. Civil Code. 108. 247t. 218. electoral competition. 182 Koryak. 160 Karelia. 168. 10 Kemerovo. Evgeny. 244t. 245t Kiselev. 265t Karaganov. Eduoard. 246t. 209. 257. election ratings. 78–79. 222. development of civil society. 147. democratization rating. democratization rating. democratization rating. Office of the Prosecutor General. 72 Komi-Permyatsky. 248. 245t. 258t. 186 Kostromskaya. 262. suppression of the media. election ratings. election manipulation. 71–72. constitutional roles. 264t. 78–79. 187 Komsomolskaya Pravda. 259t. 74–79. 264t Khanty-Mansiisky Okrug.

166. See also rule of law Law on Local Self-government. 182 Lyubimov. 48. 178. 18. 257. Labor Code. 189 labor movement. 264t Markov. democratization rating. 193. 155. Dmitri. 1995 parliamentary elections. 240–41. 249–57. 197. election ratings. 296. 284t LUKoil. 43–44. 246t. 264 Levada. 1999 parliamentary elections. 185. Yuri. 191. democratization rating. 178. 78. advertising revenues. 116 Lipetskaya.. local/regional media. 163. 242–49. Mikhail. 176. 264t Krasnov. government propaganda. 115t. election ratings. election ratings. 166. election ratings. influence. 333–34n25 legislature. coverage of labor unrest. election ratings. 1993 parliamentary elections. corruption. 191. Sergei. Freedom House ratings. legal status. 39–40. 268. Sergei. 336n4. 217. Aleksandr. 229–30. 293 Krasnaya Zvezda. 119–22. Vladimir. regional level. 130 Krasnoyarsky. live coverage of terrorist crises. election manipulation. 3–4. 41. public opinion polling. 258t. 79. Valentina. 54. 192 Lebed. 249. . 264t Kursk (submarine). print media. 182. 1991 presidential election. 327n97. 189. 163. Alexei. 139–40. 108 Matviyenko. Ferdinand. 121. 323n35. 121–22. 262. 123–24. 263t Kursk. democratization rating. 115. 323n29 Lapkin. 187–88. 114. Yuri. election ratings. 264t managed democracy. 317n41. media unions. 46. 332n8. 257. democratization rating. Yuri. Aleksandr. 337n13. use of torture. 336n6. electoral competition. 175–77. 147. party affiliations. 330n11. Gorbachev era. variables. 239–67. founding elections. democratization rating. 263t. 264t lower classes. 194. 241–42. 335n33 measurements of democratization. 151–52. 182 Luzhkov. 229. Aleksandr. 15–16 Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. expert evaluations. TV-Center. Gorbachev era. 183. 194. 3–5. 41–42. 43–45. 9. Ruslan. 189 Levine. 161. 245t. 247t. Soviet era reforms. 113. 145–46. role in regional government. Vladimir. 179–80. democratization rating. 186. 327n86. 130–31. civil society. Duma representation. 163 Krasnodarsky. 182. 309n45. 329n97. election ratings. 186. 263t Kudrin. See also public opinion media. 166. freedom of information. media coverage. 174–94. 184–85. 183. 160. 166. 245t. 160. 283–85. 298 Marii El. 174–81. 112t. democratization rating. 122. 167 Maslyukov. democratization rating. 219 Maskhadov. 122. Soviet era. 333–34n25. See Congress of People’s Deputies (CPD). 130 Kovalev. 246t. 130 Kozak. 244t. 246t. 166. 178. independent trade unions. 175. 327n96 Mary-El Council. 1996 presidential election. 85–86 Leningradskaya. 20. 110–14. parliament Lenin. 119. election ratings.Index | 351 Kotenkov. elections. 279 LaSalle. 262. 163. 327n97 Magadanskaya. 192. 337n25. journalist unions. 144. 146. 73–74 Lazareva. 206 law enforcement. N. 186–88. Putin era. Daniel. 268–69. funding. 160–61. 244t. 334n32 Kurganskaya.

244t. 337n18 middle classes. election ratings. democratization rating. 72. 3. 17 Mordovia. 258t. Martin. 256. 181–82. disqualification of parties. 215. 3–4. 91. 328n109 Nizhegorodskaya. 254 Newsweek. suppression of journalists. Soviet era. 169–71. 327n97 Media Union. 283–85. Slobodan. 144 Memorial association. 328n112 Ministry of Security and Internal Affairs. 54 nongovernmental organizations. Yeltsin era. 20 Ministry of Natural Resources. 71 Nikitin. 254 Murrel. 214–15. 181 Nezavisimaya Gazeta. 175. removal of mayor. 166 nationalist movements. 166. 170 Murmanskaya. self-censorship. Valentin. 243. 62 natural law. 168–69. electoral competition. domination of 1993 parliamentary elections. 247t. 245t. 47. 230–31. 145. 38. federalist structures. 232t. 245t. Boris. 77. democratization rating. 140. 90. 265 Nizhny Novgorod. readership. 168–69. 189 Mediasoyuz. Grigory Pasko case. 271. G. 161. 162. 20. role in elections. Putin era. 223. 75. 39. 267. election ratings. 54. democratization rating. 265–66. 262. 164. election ratings. 219. 181–83. 18. See also civil society . 264t. rise of civil society. Lyudmila. 234t. alienation from civil society. 176–77. 264t. G. 239. 116. D. 279. 78. 193 Moskovskaya. 1993 dissolution of the CPD. 1991 attempted coup. restrictions and suppression. 78 Milosevic. 187.. 49. 328n104 Moscow News. 123. removal of president. See also Liberal Democratic Party of Russia National Patriotic Bloc. 168–69. 78. 254. 81. 47. 118. electoral competition. Eugeny. 32–33. 262. democratization rating. political structure. 183. 332n14 Mironov. 101 Moscow Helsinki Group. 116 military involvement in the state. 249. 164 Monitoring. 265t. 234t minority concerns. See also Chechen wars military service alternatives. election ratings. 232t. 222. election ratings. 62 Narusova. Barrington. 263t Movement for Nuclear Safety. 55 Ministry of Defense. 166 Medvedev. 175 Moscow Theater Center terrorist attack. 284t. 338–39n1 Moore. 43–44. economic factors. democratization rating. 327n95. election ratings. 244t. 45 National Patriotic Union of Russia. 1999 invasion of Chechnya. 310n58 National Association of Television and Radio Broadcasters. 137. 100. 247t. democratization rating. 187 Nicholson. 123 National Salvation Front. Roy. 189–91. 161. Sergei. 264t. 335n33 Moiseev. 205. 259t. 54 Moscow. 258t. 36. 177–89 Media-Most. court rulings. 262. 201–2 Nemtsov. 25. 328n104 Mercator Group ratings of freedom of elections. 78 Ministry of Internal Affairs. 193. 111 Nenetsky. 152–53. 266. 186–89. 294. election ratings. 248. 189–90. 154 Mikhailov.352 | Index privatization. 239. 189–94. 78. democratization rating. constitutional conflicts. Alexander. 248.ru. Putin’s takeover of NTV. television. electoral competition. 160. 263t. 18. 335n34 Ministry of the Interior.

188. 187. 47. 122 Office of the Prosecutor General. 71–72. 281t perestroika. elections. 266 North Tyumen. 249. 175 oligarchy. 25. 41–42. 185–86. 232t. 259t. 185–86. 44. Federation Council parliament. 342n5 Orlovskaya. 254 Novosibirsk. proportional representation. foreign policy initiatives. 128. 25. 182. 186 Pentecostal religious communities. 168–69. rule of law. 1993 constitution. 171–72 Penzenskaya. criticism of 1999 Chechen war. 294 Our Home is Russia. 231–35. 93–94. Nikolai. election ratings. 284t. restriction of competition. 65. 11. 97–101. 258. 223–27. 136. 324n52. 244t. 94–95. 78. 262. democratization rating. 312n32. 1996 presidential election. Gleb. 129–31. 234t. 117–18. takeover by Gazprom. election ratings. 153–54. 58. 295–96. election ratings. 231. 46–48. 57–58. 77–78 pacted transitions. 265t. 222 Novgorodskaya. civil society. Duma. 160. electoral blocs. 195–99 Permskaya. 1995 elections. 145–48. 18. 294. election ratings. Putin era. 294. 324n52. media pluralism. 258t. oil and gas sector. federal structures. 112–14. election ratings. 310n58. 259t. “wars” after 1996 election. constitutional powers. 185. alienation of middle and lower classes. 193. privatization. 258t. 185. 259t. 284. 115t. 263t ONEXIM-Bank. 150–54 Omskaya. democratization rating. 211. electoral competition. 224–26 Ogonyok. 160. 181–86. 181–82. 1999 elections. democratization rating. 245t. Putin era. power. 165. 314n18. 243. 246t. political influence. 266 Orenburgskaya. 69. 265t. lobbying role. democratization rating. 36–39. 26. 42. 247t. 226. 40–43. 266. 175–76. election ratings. 44. as closed caste. 164 Patrushev. 63. 74. 267. 218. 67–71. 309n45 OVR. 324n44. 183–86. 234t parties. declaration of sovereignty. See also Congress of People’s Deputies (CPD). 44. 155. 93–94. 191. 257. elections. electoral competition. 16. 77–78. election ratings. 189–90 Obshchaya Gazeta. 246t. development of political parties. 245t. 109–15. 254 NTV television station. See Fatherland-All Russia (OVR) coalition Pacific Fleet Military Court. 247t. 324n47. federal structures. 45. 98–101. 113. 217–18. regional power. 102–3. alliances with civil society. 232t. 162 O’Donnell. emergence of civil society. media readership. 295–96.Index | 353 North Ossetia. 98–101. rule of law. 50–51. democratization rating. 153–54. . 262. 257. democratization rating. 15–16 parliament. See political parties Pasko. bicamereal organization. 263t. Yeltsin era. 28. 254 ORT television station. Guillermo. constitutional change. 264t People’s Perceptions of Effective Ways to Influence State Authorities. 102. 176. 119–22. 53–54. 265t. 263t Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. 217. 47. 49. 15. 189. 324n47. 36–37. 1994 Chechen war. interest groups. democratization rating. 231 Pavlovsky. 1993 elections. 92. 293. media control. 283–85. 206. 182 Orel. electoral competition. 112t. democratization rating. 231–35. 248. Grigory. 162. 265.

257. Vladimir. election participation. 131–34. 31–32. role of the Duma. 139. 109. appointments. 3–4. 231–35. 48–49. 281t. August Republic. 238. by Gorbachev. 323n35. 232t. 70. civil society. 43–45. 269. 29. 306n5. proportional representation. 182 Prusak. powers. 316n19. 231–35. influence of the state. 126–27. 269–78.354 | Index 244t. 115t. civil society. impeachment. 37. 114. 30. 100. desire for order and stability. 250–51. 320n77. 119–22. 20. 277t. development. democratic values. 45. 129–31. 297. 95. 1996 presidential election. 129. 333–34n25 prime ministry. 6. 41 Presidency. 295–96. 160. public opinion. 87–91. 317n40. 108. 305n77. 83–104. future. 319n66. 79–80. Soviet era. 106. historical aspects. 83–104. 112t. 217. 127. Adam. 155. Edmond. local parties of power. e. 122–24. regional role. electoral competition. conflicts with the president. 295–96. 293. 267 public opinion. 95. 263t. election ratings. 156–57. Georgy. 248. 93 Primakov. 108–9. 269. 133–34. 262. 3. 64. 254 private property. 29. 234t. 179–80. 327n95 Pope. 164 Poptsov. 236–38. institutional roles. creation of. Russian Constitution. 2. 113. 258t. 121–22. 307n23. 321n10. 123–24. 97. 268–91. 276t. super-parties. 108. 124–31. 313n10. 117–19. 30. Russian Constitution. 320n75. political party affiliations. weakness. 31–32. 155. 281. Lev. 274t. 122–29. 263t. See also specific presidents. law-making role. federalist structures. 1991 referendum. consolidation of. 324n52 Power to the People. independence. 121–22. democratization rating. 148. 281–83. democratization rating. 58 police. 273t Popular Expectations of Political Leaders. Yeltsin era. stabilization. 94. 108. role of the prime ministry. 122–29. 123–24. 149–50 Poltavchenko. vs. 59. 313n45. 124–31. 273t. Soviet presidency. 139. 121–22. role of the Federation Council. by Yeltsin. 153–54. 117–24. 58. 46–48. . 232t. 2000. 1991 presidential election. 286–91. August 1991 attempted coup. development of political parties. 96–97. 6. superpresidency. 1996 presidential election. 102. 129–31. Oleg. 231 Ponomarev. federalist structures. 249. 80. 116. 258t. 253–55. constitutional amendments. 68–69. 108–9. 283t Popular Perceptions of the Essentials for Democracy. 274t Potanin. See law enforcement political parties. 91–94. 2004 presidential election. 102. 39. 1990 CPD elections. 92. development of civil society. 2000 presidential election. 113. 122–29. 204–5. 107–16. 19–20. 106. 258 Przeworski. 136. Mikhail. 258t. party affiliations.g. two-party system. Yevgeny. 105–34. 108–9. 254 Pimenov. 180. 63 Profil’. 1991 presidential election. electoral competition. 115–16. 116. role of the presidency. 1998. weakening of civil society. 45. 68–69. 146. 109–15. 186 Popular Assessment of Achievements of the Yeltsin Era. election ratings. 87–101. 263t. 262. 127–29. prime ministry. 317n44. 1989 CPD elections. 17. Putin Presidential Administration. 317n38. 265. 84. 266. 67–71. Revol’t. political party system. 4–5. 29. 247t. 93. 16 Pskov. 128. 1999 parliamentary elections. election ratings. 123–24 Primorsky. 245t. public opinion. 132–33. 29. 234t.

102. 2002 electoral law. 333–34n25. disappointments with democracy. 81. 102. representative organizations. role of media. 281t. 164–65. 276–77. 203. 139. Civic Forum. multiparty system. 165–66. 228. 286–91. 275–78. election manipulation. 295. Kursk sinking. 294–95. youth movement. Russian Orthodox Church. 297. distrust in institutions. 227–35. 328n113. 232t. 1999 Chechen war. Murtaza. nonpartisan background. 166. 140–41 Rabochaya Tribuna. 278–80. 281t. 48–49. 325n65. 294–95. 218. 238. 221. 103–4. 144 regional governments. 157–58. the Duma. 210. 338–39n1. 278–79. dissolution of the USSR. 297. federalist structures. 165–66. 272. managed democracy. understanding of freedom. FSB’s role. 289t. 160. 128. NTV takeover. 292–98. 169–70. as prime minister. party affiliations. 268. 275. 20–22. 192. 135. creation of super-regions. 282–83. 228. 273t publishing. 307n27. 90. 326n73. rule of law. 168–69. public protest. 198. Putin’s popularity. freedom of information. 189. 1999-2001 elections. 290–91. 1990 elections. charges of espionage. State Council. conflicts with the Duma. 291. 220. 289. 318–19n61. 237. 168. 270–72. 228. 97. 285–86. 266 Reddaway. Robert. human rights. 100. preference for order above democracy. 327–82nn95–98. 148. 25. 227. 168. 189. personal values. 231–38. 289–90. research methodology. 2004 presidential election. 166. economic concerns. 290t Public Views of the Importance of Democratic Institutions and Rights. 294. 2000 presidential election. 165–66. FSB connections. 291 Public Opinion Foundation. view of equality. 327n96. 228–35. disenchantment with the West. 334n26. leadership style. 102. 342n3. 50–51. 298. 277t. Peter. Vladimir. historical factors. 279–83. 188. 284t. 6. 1993 elections. 289t. 1993 constitutional referendum. 79–80. 139 Putnam. 310n55. opposition parties. 21–22. 310n58 Putin. 72. 159–72. 69–71. political participation. 281–83. concerns with public opinion. viii. antifederalism. judicial reforms. 289–90. 148. traditional Russian values. 9. preference for paternalistic systems. presidency. vulnerability to manipulation. 50–51. 109. 293. 191. 48. economic reforms. 171. 272. 108. 226–27. 113. 269. 24. 46. 293–94. 283t. 159–61. choice as Yeltsin’s successor. concentration on international relations. 189. Federation Council reforms. popularity. 295. 6–8. 189–94. 307–8n30. 136. 143–45 Pugachev. media control. preferences for order above democracy. 209–12. civil society. 149. 160. 159–60. 1991 referendum. tolerance of corruption. 270–72. rule of law. accumulation of power. 269. 269. 182 Rakhimov. 338–39n1 Public Readiness to Support Authoritarian Measures. 234t. most significant events. 289–90. 230–31. support for Yeltsin. 325n59. 327n97. 97. 123–24. Sergei. environmental issues. 340n18. 134. 189. 295. appointments of gover- .Index | 355 204–5. 114. strengthening of St. trust in the media. 1–2. 184–85. 307n24. 332n12. 318–19n61. 109. 49–51. 283–85. regional governments. 271. 161–64. 285–86. 133. 228. 229–30. Petersburg. 288t. social stratification. use of military force. 297–98. 238. 333n22. intolerance of dissent. 65. 47–48 Putin presidency. media manipulation of. 229. 289. 290t. 67–68. 297–98. 20.

authoritarian tendencies. 4. 334n28. 195–99. constitutions. 333n22. 44. 266. 229–30. 335n36 Reiman. federalist structures. oligarchy. 210. 57 Russian Attitudes Toward Democratic Procedures. civil society. 294–95. democratization ratings. 8–9 Rodina party. 20. 74–79. political structures. Federal Treaty of March 1992. 19–20. 229. 218–19. 54. 231–35. public opinion. 230. 1993 referendum. amendments. 49. local self-government. taxation. Dmitry. historical aspects. 210. 100. 8–9. Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). negotiations with the center. 89. 335n34. 129. Putin era. 313n9. political parties. 203–4. 261t. 57–63. 229. 265t RSFSR Constitution of 1978. 186. creation of super-regions. 64–65. 58. 319n66. 233. Leonid. 69 Rossel. . historical aspects. 234t. 229. 66–67. 150. election manipulation. 225t. 121. 228–35. immunity of governors. 100. 73. 221–22. 56–82. 310nn57–58. civil society. 161–62. 211–12. 294 rule of law. limitations of reforms. 222–23. 198–208. 219. 255–56. democratization rating. 320n75. 229. 256–57. 66. Soviet era. 305n77. 219. 276t Russian Constitution. Yeltsin era. provisions for impeachment. 235–36. Soviet era. 218. 124–31. presidential power. contradictions with regional constitutions. political parties. failure of reforms. 211. 331n3. 50–51. 207–8. 332n7. 244–47t. 251–52. 71–73. 71–74. 89–90. 100. 297–98. 58–59. 69–71. 99–101. parliamentary powers. 91–94. 333n19. 336n11. 102. 211–12. 249–67. 56. oblasts. 71–73. 69–71. 195–212. 246t. Federation Council. 198. rule of law. 199–208. 229. 211–12. 296 Roosevelt. negative voting. conflicts of interest. 71–73. 67–71. Eduard. 333n22. 72. 335n33 religious groups. 113–16. 252–53. August Republic. 320n79. 313n45. 261t. Putin’s reforms. 35–36. 310n57. oligarchy. 129 Rostov-on-Don. Franklin D. paternalism of the state. natural law. 212. 238. 336n6. 98–101. 64–65. budgets. Putin era. 206. central government organization. 201–2. 208–9. 73–74. 182. election ratings. 196–97. 215. 225t. asymmetric relationships with the center. 318n49. Thomas. Philip. 222–23. 203–4. 128–29. 106. consolidation of the presidency. 93–94. 94. 195–99. 218–23. 302n42 Rhyzhkov. 125–29. 201–2. 47. 232t. 17. separatist tendencies. Vladimir. 332n11. federal structure. 333n19. krais. 201–2. 211–12. civil rights. 221–23. 155–56. 206–7 RTR television station. representation in the center. liberal features. judicial system. 238. mixed election systems. 124–31. 66–67. 218. voter turnout. 253–55. See also human rights Rumyantsev. relationship of the state to the individual. 224. 176. impact on political parties. media. 205. 310n58. contradictions with federal law. 238. Selected Years.. 296 Roeder. 15 Rogozin. 79–82. 218. 210. illiberal features. Gorbachev era. 295. law enforcement. 171–72 Remington. 103–4. and okrugs. regional governments. constitutional powers. 239–67. 224. election manipulation. 229–30. super-parties. regional divisions. 259t.356 | Index nors. 210. 12. executive powers. 294–95. See measurements of democratization revolution model. Oleg. 24. 17. division of power. 155. 337n13. 81. bureaucracy. elections. 199–208. 155. 211–12. 128. 176. 68 research.

258t. 2. 4. 142–43. 289 Russian Press Institute. election ratings. 224. 163 Sovetskaya Rossiya. 41 Ryzhkov. 276t. 1978 “Brezhnev” Constitution. 1993 dissolution of the soviets.Index | 357 215. Vladimir. 288t. 41. 186 Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. 86–87. 63–65. 1936 Constitution. 164 Rutskoi. 333n20 Russian Television and Radio Company. 1995 parliamentary elections. Mintimer. Anatoly. Yeltsin’s early reforms. 306n14 Salmin. 171. 310n58 Sobyanin. 306n14. 108. Lilia. 263t. 246t. 289t. Yuri. 90–91. 337n16 Sechin. 10. election ratings. 38–39. 86. 313n10. 144. 146 social stratification. 272. 57–58. 89–90. election ratings. 267 samizdat. Aleksandr. 54. 74 Shaimiev. 67–71. 246t. 248. 166. democratization rating. 58 Soviet Union. . 309n45 Russian Orthodox Church. 1991 military coup. 162 Samarsakaya. 1990 system of soviets. 262. 309n45. 119. 257. 246t. 63. 315n13 Russia’s Pacific Fleet. 179–86. election ratings. voter participation. 83–104. 307n23 Ryzhkov. 217. 264t. 26 Schumpeter. 267 Sobchak. 58. 63. 72. Supreme Soviet. 259t. 152 Russia’s Choice. 275–76. 41 Slavonic Legal Center. 89 Sagalayev. Ivan. 54 Rybkin. 26–33. Matthew. 333n18. 130 Shevchenko. 263t. election manipulation. 244t. 244t. 81. 263t. 233 Segodnya. 283–85. 1993 parliamentary elections. 130 Schmitter. 265 Sakharov. 273t. 231 Security Council. 181–82. 333n20. separation of powers. removal of mayor. 113. 338–39n1. 93 Salvation Army. 327n97 Russian Movement for Democratic Reforms. 310n55 separation of powers. Eduard. 285t Socio-Ecological Union. democratization rating. 113. August Republic. 130. presidential republic. democratization rating. 18–20. Yuri. 15. Philippe. Georgy. 196 Shein. election ratings. 166. 144. 231. George. 198. democratization rating. 166 Sheinis. 41. 278–79. 1989 elections. 266. 130–31. 86. Yuri. Oleg. 152. Alexei. 23. 38 Social Democratic Party of Russia. 84 Russian Constitutional Court. Nikolai. 68–69. 216–17. presidential law-making. 68 Sidorenko. Viktor. 91–94 Sergei Alekseev. democratization rating. 91 Shugart. 267. 258t. 309n45. 265t Satarov. dissolution of soviets. 330n11 Seleznov. 48. 146 Solzhenitsyn. 96 Ryazan. Yeltsin’s “presidential” draft. 143–44 Saratov. 214–15. Aleksandr. 230. 93. 326n80 Smolenskaya. 289 Soros. 90. 169–70 Solidarity (Poland). Georgy. 75–78 Russian Independent Institute for Social and Nationalities Problems (RIISNP). 333–34n25 Shakhnazarov. 166 Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR). 339n11 Russian Journalists’ Union. Ivor. 335n33 Shevtsova. 78–79 Skokov. Alexander. 162. 36. 87–91. Joseph. 166 Sakhalinskaya. Gennady. Soviet era interests groups. 32–33. 11. 189. Andrei. 216–17. 147. 23.

219. 262. 25. 176. 189–90. 244t. 229. 206. Russian Television and Radio Company. Joseph. political parties. 335n33 Stevenson. 129. 89–90. 258t. Congress of People’s Deputies. 21. revolution model. nationalist movements. presidential impeachment. 269. 263t Stepashin. 244t. 44. 230 Taymyrsky. 160. RTR television station. 49. 257. 19. 44. 10–17. 15 . 185–86 Tambovskaya. 243. election ratings. election ratings. Yegor. 172. impact on civil society. 257. regional constitution. perestroika. 89–90. 162–63. 84. support of Yeltsin. 155 super-regions. 127. creation of the Russian Constitution. Kathryn. 94 Supreme Soviet. 168–69. under the Soviet “Brezhnev” Constitution. democratization rating. 257. declarations of independence from. vii. 85–87. 215. 86. 1993 conflict with Yeltsin. 258t. 263t. election manipulation. election ratings. election ratings. regional powers. 143–44. 218–21. 49. 47. 181–82. 259t. 263t transitions. 236–37. 54. 127–29. 45. 14–15. 169. 265t. 101. democratization rating. elections. federalist structures. Irene. 229–30. 263t. environmental protection suits. 267 Tatarstan. 294. 170. 186–89. creation of presidency. election ratings. 1996 presidential election. 29. 74. Schmitter. 31–32. 16–17. political structure. 222. 195 Tomskaya. democratization rating. 182. 262. Federal Treaty. 263t. National Association of Television and Radio Broadcasters. 246t. 182. 49. 33–34. dissidents. 322n23. 215. 219 taxation. civil society. elections. 214–15. 185. 27–31. 78–79. 192. decolonization model. 333nn18–20. Sergei. 142–48. See Union of Right Forces (SPS) St. 245t. 273–74. 169–71 State Council. 294.358 | Index anti-Stalinist movement. 59–63. 74–75. democratization rating. regional powers. 28. 265. 218. election participation. election ratings. 266–67. 15–16. 99 Tatar World Congress. 26–27. 246t. 176. 302n42 Transitions from Authoritarian Rule (O’Donnell. pacted. 175. regional governments. 72. 101. public opinion. 115. 243. 33–34. 57–58. 109. 121 Stroyev. 116. 267. 86. 263t television. dissolution in 1991. 317n44. 219. 166. 186. NTV. 179–81. 1993 constitutional referendum. 249. voter turnout. transitional body of 1990. 12. 99 Svyazinvest. & Whitehead). democratization rating. 142–43 State Committee for Environmental Protection. media. 334n27. See Duma Stavropolksy. 294. 216–17. Igor. Constitutional Oversight Committee (KKN). 13. TVS television station. 165 Stoner-Weiss. 218. 258t. democratization rating. role of soviets. 120. election ratings. 331n3 SPS. 164–65 Sverdlovsk. 190 The Marxist-Leninist General Theory of the State and Law. 246t. 150–52. 266 super-presidency. 122–24. 149. 179–86. 47. 247t. 177. democratization rating. 44. 294–95 Supreme Court. imposed. 195–99. 224. 186. 44. 143. Petersburg. 11. political structure. 307n16. 307n23. elections. 230–31. 227 State Duma. declaration of independence. rule of law. 219. 332n10 Sutyagin. 1991 presidential election. 58. 251 Stalin. ORT. 266.

327n96 Weimar Germany. 170 World Chuvashy Council. 218. 258t Tuva. 254. 115t. 266. 198 Tuleyev. 238. 259t. 145–46. 112t. 267 Unified Russia. 182. 1989 miners’ strikes. AID support of civil society. electoral competition. 156 World Wildlife Fund. democratization rating. 267. 295 United States. 133 Union of Distributors of Press Productions and Titles. NTV takeover. 132–33. 247t. election ratings. 258. Putin’s endorsement. 246t. 264t Volsky. 249–53. 1995 parliamentary elections. 262. 25. Viktor. See Soviet Union Ust-Orda okrug. 72 TV-6. 182. 309n45. 248. 245t. 246t. democratization rating. 300n11. 245t. 110–14. Arkady. 267 Tumenskaya. 165 Unity party. 1991 presidential election. 315n16. 119. election ratings. 139 voter turnout. 164–65 USSR. 218 Ulyanovskaya. 138. 29. 218. Laurence. 295–96. 229. 182 Tverskaya. 137–38 Whitehead. 112–14. 308n37. Vitaly. 166. 54 Volgogradskaya. regional support. 263t. 263t. 47–48. democratization rating. 165–66 Urban. 67 USA Canada Institute. Dmitri. 115. 109. election ratings. regional role. 219 World Development Report. 11 World Bank. democratization rating. 1999 parliamentary elections. 168. 40. 139. youth movement. 234t United Russia. 317n41. democratization rating. Peace Corps. election ratings. 190 TV-Center. 263t Volkov. 1999 presidential elections. See All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research Walking Together. 1993 parliamentary elections. declaration of sovereignty. 168–69. 119–22. 190 Tyulkin. 120. 238. 232t. 263t voters’ clubs. democratization rating. 310n58. 47. 249. 48. 38. 123 Union of Russian Journalists. 248. 249. Duma representation. 58 Vologodskaya. 215. 296. 257. Aman. 132–33. 264t Ukraine. 261t. 183 United Ministry of Railroads. Federation Council. Edmond Pope case. democratization rating. election ratings. 112t. 171 Yabloko. 70. 263t Udmurtia. 152–53. 307n23. 10 Vasilyev. 245t. democratization rating. 183 Union of Right Forces (SPS). democratization rating. 1997(World Bank). election ratings. 115t. 296.Index | 359 Tretyakov. election ratings. 244t. 263t Vladivostok. 326n85. 1999 parliamentary elections. regional constitution. election ratings. support of Putin. 334n32 Video International. 215. national super-parties. election ratings. 244t. 259t. 95. 24. 263t TVS television station. 265t. election ratings. democratization rating. declaration of sovereignty. 182 Vladimirskaya. 129. 247t. 41 Tyumen. Leonid. Putin’s endorsement. 42. 1995 parliamentary elections. 334n27. 156. 183 Trud. 265t Uzbekistan. George. democratization rating. . 333–34n25 Tulskaya. 164. 335n36 VTsIOM. 247t. 123. 315n13. 73. Duma representation. 244t. 324n44 Voronezhskaya. 257. 169. election ratings.

342nn7–8. 87. 87–91. 313n9. 204–5. 206–7. 180. 127. 180–81. 328n108 Yakovlev. 186. 228. 325n60. 120–22. 100. 264t. 313n10. 49. Federal Treaty of March 1992. August Republic. 88. 218–21. 99–100. civil society. law-making activities. 179–80. 32. 93. 151–52. 149. NTV takeover. 207–8. 247t. 46. 34. 126–27. 228. 127. regional government. control over elections. 80–81. 308n32. impeachment proceedings. democratization rating. 122. 89. 183–86. 128. 80. 245t. 149–59. 307n24. 205. single-mandate districts. 16–17. negotiation of the end of the Soviet Union.360 | Index 309n45. 170. 292. Constitutional Commission. relationship with . 35–36. 205–6. consultative bodies. 21. 206–8. 1999 parliamentary elections. 1996 presidential election. 34. 146. 33. 269. constitutional amendments. party affiliations. 87–101. 264t. 24. 109. campaign funding violations. 127. 31–32. 16–17. 96–97. 206–8. democratization rating. 320n77. 122. 216–17. choice of a successor. 122. 181–83. 42. 168. preservation of power. 36. 1993 referendum on the constitution. 126–27. Federation Council. 31–32. 225t. 224. 48. regional power. 88–91. 31–32. 220. Decree Number 1400. proportional representation. 98–101. 257. 176. 184–86. 204–5. 153–54. media. election ratings. 109. conflicts with the Constitutional Court. 148. 334n27. 273t. oligarchy. 117. creation of RTR television station. declaration of sovereignty. 148. federal structures. 169–70. 269. 129–31. 75. 184. 226. 228. 306n5 Yeltsin presidency. 43–45. public opinion. 217. 90–91. decentralization process. 309n45 Yeltsin. dissolution of the Russian CPD. 218–19. economic reforms. 307n23. civil society. election manipulation. 219. prime minister appointments. 98–101. 44. 216–17. 17. health. 186. 126–29. vii. 89–90. Ministry of Security and Internal Affairs. 220. Alexei. 218. 72–73 Yamalo-Nenetsky. 272–73. conflicts with the Duma. 150–54. 68. dismissal of Primakov. 48. 196. Chechen wars. 156. 221. 149. 123–24. 1991 presidential election. 168. 77–78. 324n44. 90. 63–65. desire for order and stability. 324n47. 108–9. 56. 304n66. conflicts with the CPD. 17. 119–22. 90–91. 177–89. 75–78. retirement. prosecutors general replacements. Grigory. 34. 95–97. dissolution of soviets in 1993. 127. 308n37. 320n75. 8. Federal Treaty. leadership style. 156. 39. basic social services. dismissal of Chubais. electoral competition. democratization rating. 200. consolidation of the presidency. August 1991 attempted coup. 149. 46. election ratings. 91–94. privatization. 121–22. 264t. 126. 1991 referendum. regional constitution. constitutional reforms. 48. “presidential” draft of the Russian Constitution. dissolution of the Soviet Union. 83. 206–7. 224–26. 2003 parliamentary elections. 110. 33–40. 179–80. 323n35 Yakutia. 333n22. Boris. 208. 176. 151–52. 150. 36. Duma representation. 57. 1996 presidential election. 48. 217. 224. political parties. chairmanship of Russian CPD. 127. 115t. 254 Yaroslavl. 262. 244t. election ratings. 112t. 1993 founding elections. 228. 95. 75–76. 11. 217. 110–14. 36–37. Aleksandr. 116. 158. 135. chairmanship of Supreme Soviet. 115t Yablokov. 108. 275–78. 308n40. conflicts with the Supreme Soviet. bicameral parliament. creation of Russian presidency. 94–95. 267 Yavlinsky. growth of bureaucracy. 62.

116 Zubkov. 1991 presidential election. 2000 presidential election. Gennady. 309n45. 123–24 . 327n96 Youth Unity. 1999 parliamentary elections. Semen. Walking Together. 48. 129–30. 48. Ilya. rule of law. religious practice. 58. 115 Zashchita. 151. 110. party affiliations. 308n37 youth movement.Index | 361 Tatarstan president Shaimiyev. 307n23. 1996 presidential election. Valery. 198–208. 1995 parliamentary elections. 166. 138. 138. 228. 58–63. 49. 165–66 Yukos. 72. 162. 127–28. Vladimir. 320n77. Komsomol. 231 Zyuganov. 335n33 Zadornov. 296. 103 Yuzhanov. 306n5. 1999 parliamentary elections. voter turnout. 162. Viktor. 139. 139. FSB harassment of. 84. 45. 108. See also Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Zorkin. Mikhail. National Patriotic Union of Russia. 75 Zubakin. 108. 43–45. Russian Constitution. 39–42. resignation in 1999. 327n96 Zhirinovsky.

both at Stanford. in Slavic and East European Studies. and presidential apparatus. and the Rule of Law. From 1990–1995. and journals worldwide. in International Relations and Slavic Languages and his M. and his Ph. newspapers. both from Stanford University. He received his B. He also served as an analyst in the Analytical Center of the President.D. in International Relations from Oxford University in 1991. Before joining the Stanford faculty in 1995. Nikolai Petrov is head of the Center for Political Geographic Research and is a leading research associate with the Institute of Geography at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Petrov was the chief organizer of the Analysis and Forecast Division in the Supreme Soviet and head of a governmental working group on regional problems. he served as an adviser to the Russian parliament.A. He is a widely published author. he worked for two years as a Senior Associate for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in residence at the Carnegie Moscow Center. McFaul is also a Research Associate at the Center for International Security and Cooperation.A. government. and the Center for Democracy. Development. He is also an Associate Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and a nonresident Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. From 1 .About the Authors Michael McFaul is the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. with articles appearing in magazines.

Minnesota. He earned his Ph. Prior to joining the Carnegie Moscow Center. Ryabov is deputy director of the Center of Political Science Programs at the Gorbachev Foundation. he led the regional project at the Carnegie Moscow Center. in Geography from Moscow State University in 1982. . he has been editor-in-chief of the Russian academic journal The World Economy and International Relations. he worked as a senior researcher at the Center of International Programs of the Russian Independent Institute of Social and National Problems and as senior researcher at the department of modern Russian political process of Moscow State University. St.D. where he published the Political Almanac of Russia 1997. the Moscow University Political Science series. Since October 2002.D. as well as numerous essays on elections. and the annual supplements Russian Regions in 1999 and 2000. Ryabov coauthored several books. From 2000 to 2002. he taught at Macalester College.2 | About the Authors 1996 to 2000. In addition to his work with Carnegie. and regionalism. Paul. He received his Ph. federalism. He was previously deputy chief editor of Vestnik. from the Moscow State Historical Archive Institute. Andrei Ryabov is a leading political scientist in Russia. including Philosophy of Power and Party-Political Elites and Electoral Processes in Russia.

George Richard Giordano Jamie Gorelick Stephen D. Fites Leslie H. publishing. Taylor Reveley III Strobe Talbott . international organizations. Lewis. business. Vice President for Communications BOARD OF TRUSTEES James C. Otunnu William J. Jr. Through research. and civil society. creating new institutions and international networks. The Endowment publishes Foreign Policy. Perry W. Their interests span geographic regions and the relations between governments. focusing on the economic. OFFICERS Jessica T. political. Gelb William W. Harlan Donald Kennedy Robert Legvold Stephen R. Mathews Zanny Minton Beddoes Olara A. Endowment associates shape fresh policy approaches. Founded in 1910. Through its Carnegie Moscow Center. Vice Chairman Bill Bradley Robert Carswell Jerome A. Cohen Richard A. one of the world’s leading magazines of international politics and economics. Debs Susan Eisenhower Donald V. convening. Jessica T.Carnegie Endowment for International Peace The Carnegie Endowment is a private. and technological forces driving global change. Vice President for Studies Carmen MacDougall. on occasion. and. Executive Vice President and Secretary George Perkovich. Chairman Gregory B. Gaither. Mathews. President Paul Balaran. nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States. Craig. its work is nonpartisan and dedicated to achieving practical results. the Endowment helps to develop a tradition of public policy analysis in the states of the former Soviet Union and to improve relations between Russia and the United States.